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  1. #1
    Demoted to Low-Fi Carl Reid's Avatar
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    Looking for Bookshelf Speakers $2K-$3K

    Ok guys, I finally bit the bullet and sold my Mission Speakers (they were excellent speakers for the money, but I'm ready for the next level.... bad case of upgradeitis)... so now I'm in the slow process of finding some really good, hopefully "hi-end" Bookshelf speakers.... I'm not in a rush.... so I'm really looking for as many recommendations of potential speakers to listen to over the next month or two...

    I listen to all kinds of music... I really love clear, sweet vocals (bass is not a major requirement... which is part of why I'm looking for bookshelf speakers)... The room size is humble about 9'x12' with 7' ceilings....

    So far I've heard and really like the B&W 805S.... And I'm anxious to check out PSB Platinum M2s and Paradigm Signature S2s....

    So any other suggestions of bookshelf speakers in the $2k - $3K range will be highly appreciated....

  2. #2
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    I know I'd have Totem on my list, with Focal and PSB being other brands I'd look in to. I've never been that enamored with Paradigm or B&W but I'd certainly audition them too. I'd also look in to Thiel just for the heck of it as I'm not too familiar with them.

  3. #3
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Hey Carl,

    $2-3k is an interesting pricepoint for bookshelves. IMHO I can't see spending that much for something that is inherently limited in frequency output but that's just me.

    The B&Ws can be nice if coupled with proper amplification, but why not go esoteric? At this pricepoint you could look at some of the Almarro packages or a variety of the single driver Omega units and, in the case of the latter, still have some bucks left over.

    I have looked at both the Omegas and Aurum Cantus for (yet another) secondary system...still kind of on the fence. My amittedly limited experience with bookshelves leads me to believe that the point of diminishing returns creeps up much faster than in other areas of audio.

    Cheers

  4. #4
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    Second the Focals,the Profile 908 fit your price range or if you can stretch it a bit the Electra 1007 is truely spectacular.

    bill

  5. #5
    Demoted to Low-Fi Carl Reid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks
    Hey Carl,

    $2-3k is an interesting pricepoint for bookshelves. IMHO I can't see spending that much for something that is inherently limited in frequency output but that's just me.
    I used to think that way... but two things changed my mind substantially... 1) The High and mid frequency sound on a $2-$3K bookshelf is in the league with $4-$6K floorstanders, so it's a "relatively" cheap way to get into hi-end (even more so if you buy used).... 2) The combination of my small rectangular room and Amp resulted in far more bass than I needed, with humble dual 6 1/2 inch Mission Floorstanders, so I'm sure I'd get a more "neighbour friendly" bass perfomance with a single 6 1/2 bookshelf...

    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks
    The B&Ws can be nice if coupled with proper amplification, but why not go esoteric? At this pricepoint you could look at some of the Almarro packages or a variety of the single driver Omega units and, in the case of the latter, still have some bucks left over.
    I'm sure I have sufficient amplification for the power hungry B&Ws... though, I am really hoping to find something better than the B&Ws, hopefully for less.... The B&Ws have one major downside, which is that they are masters of revealing how bad some of my your recordings are... so I wouldn't mind a speaker that's not so critical of my CD collection... I'll definitely check out Amarro and Omega if I can find them....

    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks
    I have looked at both the Omegas and Aurum Cantus for (yet another) secondary system...still kind of on the fence. My amittedly limited experience with bookshelves leads me to believe that the point of diminishing returns creeps up much faster than in other areas of audio.

    Cheers
    Ohhh, that's the only place where I'd have to disagree pretty strongly... A lot of people have a very different view on bookshelves and diminishing returns.... A lot of reviewers own 'reference' bookshelf speakers, for both size and budget considerations... regarding them as the best way to get high end sound affordably....


    Thanks for the suggestions, I'll add the Omegas and Aurum to my list of speakers to check out....

  6. #6
    Demoted to Low-Fi Carl Reid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emorphien
    I know I'd have Totem on my list, with Focal and PSB being other brands I'd look in to. I've never been that enamored with Paradigm or B&W but I'd certainly audition them too. I'd also look in to Thiel just for the heck of it as I'm not too familiar with them.
    Thanks for the suggestions....

    Of the three speakers I listed, I'm actually most excited about the PSBs, I've heard their entry level Alphas and was seriously impressed, so I'm anxious to hear what the platinums sound like....

    The B&Ws are my reference as my minimum expectation of what hi-end should sound like... but I'm not sure if I'd actually buy a pair... since they do tend to sound amazing on some recordings but highlight just how bad most recordings are...

    The Paradigms are the ones I'm least interested in, since I haven't been very impressed with their Studio series... but based on their reputation I have to at least listen to the Signatures and see if maybe they'll impress me...

    I'll add the Focals and Totem to my list...

    So so far my list is:

    PSB, B&W, Paradigm, Focal, Totem, Omega and Almarro....

  7. #7
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    There are other obscure brands I'd really suggest you to look in to, but the problem is I pretty readily forget their names which is why I haven't shared them with you

    Sorry, maybe someone else will remember some of them.

  8. #8
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    The Magico Mini is a little out of your price range.

    I'll second the Focals and Totems.

    I wouldn't recommend the Dynaudios based on what you say.

    You may also want to look at either an LS3/5a, or one of Spendor's clones. Spendor has some really nice other bookshelves. Their LS3/5a clone doesn't go loud well (LS3/5a's are designed for nearfield listening), but the midrange is to die for. I don't know about the others, but I would try and hear some. I'd also be interested in the Stirling, but I haven't heard a pair.

    Quad L series. 11L, 12L. I use active 12L's at the office. They're exquisite beyond words.
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  9. #9
    Demoted to Low-Fi Carl Reid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Chalk
    The Magico Mini is a little out of your price range.

    I'll second the Focals and Totems.

    I wouldn't recommend the Dynaudios based on what you say.

    You may also want to look at either an LS3/5a, or one of Spendor's clones. Spendor has some really nice other bookshelves. Their LS3/5a clone doesn't go loud well (LS3/5a's are designed for nearfield listening), but the midrange is to die for. I don't know about the others, but I would try and hear some. I'd also be interested in the Stirling, but I haven't heard a pair.

    Quad L series. 11L, 12L. I use active 12L's at the office. They're exquisite beyond words.
    You've assesed the situation really well... I've heard the Dynaudios and wasn't impressed... The bass was great for a bookshelf but that was it... just not my taste in speaker...

    Are the Quads really that good? I've been wanting to hear them for a while... Hopefully my local Quad Dealer has finally got the L2s... so I may be able to check them out this weekend.... Quad 12s would save me a substantial amount of cash... so that would be nice...

    Thanks for the input.....

  10. #10
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Reid
    Are the Quads really that good?
    Yes. Let's put it this way -- I had to give up my Spendor S3/5's a while ago, and was always planning on replacing them. Now, I don't feel I need to anymore. And these go loud better than the Spendors.

    You should also put Bingo's Jas Orsa's on your list, they're supposed to be really good, too. And if you can find some Aurum Cantus to listen to, that would be good too.
    Eschew fascism.
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  11. #11
    Tyler Acoustics Fan drseid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emorphien
    There are other obscure brands I'd really suggest you to look in to, but the problem is I pretty readily forget their names which is why I haven't shared them with you

    Sorry, maybe someone else will remember some of them.
    Call me "Mr. Obscure"... ;-)

    I recommend auditioning the following speakers in order of personal preference :

    Tyler Acoustics Talo Reference Monitor (less than 2K at $1600/pr., but easily competes with anything in the price range -- downside is Internet/phone sale only, but with trial period and also owners who have volunteered to let people audition in their homes) -- They also sell the even better Linbrook Signatures in your range, but too large a monitor speaker for your room IMO.

    Salk Sound Veracity HT-1s (fabulous woodworking from Jim Salk coupled with superb drivers make these an excellent value at $2.2K/pr. Downside is they are built to order and are only sold web/phone like the Tylers. Build time can be sustantial, and hearing them first (unlike Tyler) is difficult as they are *very* obscure)

    Green Mountain Audio Callistos (superb speakers if you can get past their "unique" looks -- Manley Stingray integrated amp is a perfect match)

    Merlin TSM MX (Bobby done good -- nice looks, *very* nice sound)

    Spendor 3.1Ps (excellent speaker that again is a hair less than 2K/pr. but superb sounding with tubes)


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  12. #12
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    If power is not an issue for you, I would look for a pair with ribbon tweeters.

    I was going to suggest Aurum but was beat to it 2wice.

    How about Dali Helicon 300. When I purchased my Signature 805(basically same as 805S with different finish), I wanted to get a pair of 300 based on the sound of Helicon 400, but they told me they could never order them.. I wouldnt go for anything other than Mega, Euphonia, or Helicon but that's just me. I never liked their more affordable lines

    VMPS
    Elac

    If ribbon tweets dont interst you, how about Silverline or 2.5way(I believe..) floorstande, Auditiroum by Living Voice?

    Personally I wouldnt go with 805S. They were great for Jazz and Classical, but didnt want to play much else..

  13. #13
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Sonus Faber for excellent sound and cabinets in a $2-3K bookshelf/standmount speaker.
    JohnMichael
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  14. #14
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    I second the Salksound Veracity HT-1 and the Green Mountain Audio Callistos,and I would say on the cheaper end the Onix Reference 1,their selling for $599 right now,and the Selah Audio SSR for $1250,and of course my favorite the ACI Sapphire XL's for $1500 to $1700 the best kept secret in speakers.

  15. #15
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    Well, I'm very fond of the Paradigm Signature S2, obviously, so I'd suggest giving them an audition. Paradigm is coming out with a new version, too, but I have not heard it (nor, apparently, has anyone else!). I found the Signature Series rather smoother than the Reference Series speakers.

    http://www.soundstagemagazine.com/me..._signature_s2/

    I liked them better than the B & W 805, though it's a pretty nice speaker. The Dynaudio Contour 1.3 also seemed to me to be very good but seemed to me not as sonically invisible as the S2 on massed violins.

    I only heard the PSB Platinum M2 in very dead environments, not what I regarded as a normal acoustic environment, but they did seem to be very smooth and to image well, so I strongly suggest you listen to them, too.

    http://www.soundstagemagazine.com/me...b_platinum_m2/

    A speaker at the top of your price range I liked was the Thiel PCS, which is meant for near field listening but also sounds very fine farther out. It doesn't have much bass and in a larger room, especially, it would benefit greatly from a subwoofer. I preferred the Signature S2 and the more expensive Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor but I wouldn't say they are better speakers.

    http://stereophile.com/standloudspea...43/index4.html

    I have heard only the older M20 model, but the Revel Performa M22 should be a good candidate for an audition, as well. In close quarters, you would probably want to turn the tweeter down a bit--but you can do that with the Revel.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
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  16. #16
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    I like the sound from Totems as well as Ushers. Plenty more that I haven't heard yet.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  17. #17
    guitar mongoose icarus's Avatar
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    ill second the italian made Sonus Faber Concertino Domus.
    that makes as much sense as a drunken mongoose playing the piano

  18. #18
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    I second totem too,
    and dali too.

    haven't heard the sonus fabers so I can't comment on that...

    I heard that monitor audio was going to bring out a new serie, which will then be their top of the line serie. The bookshelf speaker in that range was going to be around $4000, this, of course, will differ from the real price...

    and what about dynaudio?

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  19. #19
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    The KEF M201's are a nice speaker also.

    http://www.accessories4less.com/cgi-bin/item/KEFM201CH
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  20. #20
    SuperPoser Rock789's Avatar
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    mini utopia
    I see the mini utopia's in the $3k range often on audiogon...
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  21. #21
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    OMG, if you can get a Mini Utopia for under 3K, go for it.

    Except it's probably the pre-Be version...but it can be upgraded...I think...
    Eschew fascism.
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  22. #22
    Forum Regular Rock&Roll Ninja's Avatar
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    I liked the PSB Platinum M2s enough to buy them myself. But there are not alot of high-end dealers around either I could compare with (The Paradigm Signature S2 is very nice, but I like the PSBs style more).

  23. #23
    Suspended PeruvianSkies's Avatar
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    I will echo the choice of the PSB Platinum's, which are superb and I plan to get those one day to compliment my Platinum towers.

  24. #24
    Demoted to Low-Fi Carl Reid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeruvianSkies
    I will echo the choice of the PSB Platinum's, which are superb and I plan to get those one day to compliment my Platinum towers.
    Hey Peruvian,

    What size room do you have the Platinum Towers in? They wouldn't work in my current room but hopefully I should be moving in a few months... so it might be worthwhile (though far more expensive) to look into the Platinum T6s rather than the M2s.... as a long term investment in audio....

  25. #25
    SuperPoser Rock789's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Chalk
    OMG, if you can get a Mini Utopia for under 3K, go for it.

    Except it's probably the pre-Be version...but it can be upgraded...I think...
    the link I posted is the original series,
    the Be series ususally go for $4-6k on audiogon ...
    HT: Anthem AVM 50 / PVA-7; Focal JM Lab 4x Chorus 716 S, CC 700 S, 2x Chorus 706S; 2x 12s - Homebuilt Sub
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    Computer: Denon AVR 2805, Old Tecnic & Optimus Speakers
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