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  1. #1
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    Need some advice on solid bookshelf speakers

    New to the forum but have referenced the site many times for reviews. Definitely some good reviews so I'm looking for some good advice. I am about to receive a new Rotel RA-02 (high current 40w/ch) stereo amp and am looking for a decent pair of bookshelf speakers to pair it with. The setup is for my man cave/ table tennis room, above my second garage. I would say 25 x 25 at the largest for area. These speakers will be set on built in shelves along windows with about 12 feet between them. I listen to all types of music and that would include hip/hop, reggae, bluegrass, jam band, rock, and old country.

    I'm a fan of Paradigm speakers but am willing to branch out. I want to keep my cap on spending to under $300 and am willing to buy used so please let me know what you folks feel would suit me best. I can spend more, just don't want to. I am open to a small sub if need be too but curious to know what you audiophiles/enthusiasts would do?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

  2. #2
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    Hello

    Here is a link for the Mordaunt Short Aviano 2 bookshelf speaker if you're interested.
    This is a bass dominant speaker though the details are there there is no edge to the HF and would fill your room better than a smaller speaker. About $500.00/pr

    http://www.accessories4less.com/index.php

    Here is the link for the Avant 902i. This speaker is lively and has bass that's incredible for it's size. Your room may be a tad to large for this speaker but what musicality you get from this speaker is really, really great. A bargain at $225/pr.

    http://www.needledoctor.com/Online-Store/speakers

    Want to read reviews?
    http://www.mordauntshort.com/reviews.php

  3. #3
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    Gratzie

    LeRoy,

    Thanks for your reply. I'll read some reviews and see what others say as well. They sound like they have great reviews so I'll keep them on my list. I'll look into other models by Mordaunt Short as well!

    Thanks again,

    T.BONE

  4. #4
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    You may also want to check out the thread titled Bookshelf Speakers. Like you, I am also on the hunt for a good pair of bookshelf speakers. There are a ton of great recommendations in that thread. I am honing in on the Silverline Audio Minuets. They are a tad pricey at $600 but they have received some glowing reviews, including one on Stereophile.com. I am talking to the owner to see if there are any dealers in my area to audition them. I'll post a response if I am able to listen. Good luck.

  5. #5
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    will do, thanks Mntn Man!

  6. #6
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Take a look at the PSB B-25's or the Boston Acoustics CS-26's. These are in your budget and are great for the price. The PSB is a larger bookshelf and may be better suited for that size room. The Infinity Primus 162 is another decent budget bookshlf. I bought a pair of older 160's for my daughter and it has pretty good sound but you will want to use a sub with it for sure. You will probably want a sub with that size room. There are plenty on inexpensive subs that will fit the bill. Are you absolutely set on bookshelfs? There are a couple of good budget floor standers.

    http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=PBIMB25

    http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=BOCS26

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...A=endecaSearch

    Floor standers- http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=ENC300

    http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=ATLS300
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  7. #7
    Rob_a rob_a's Avatar
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    The Rotel and PSB's match up very well, a clean tight low end and great imaging.
    I have owned a pair of the Infinity's and would only recommend as a last option.
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  8. #8
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    I just ordered a pair of Paradigm Atoms for my brother-in-law for his birthday. They list for $318 and are a great little speaker. I have an older pair of them (V2) and they still sound great. I took them down to my brother-in-laws beach house so he could see how they sounded. He had gotten some new furniture and his old Sony floor speakers didn't fit the room anymore. Now he took the Sony's home and put them in the family room and my SIL can't wait to get them out of there. Also if you can find a nice set of Usher S520's used on Audiogon they would fit the bill also.
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  9. #9
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    Your Welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by tbonebrown
    LeRoy,

    Thanks for your reply. I'll read some reviews and see what others say as well. They sound like they have great reviews so I'll keep them on my list. I'll look into other models by Mordaunt Short as well!

    Thanks again,

    T.BONE
    Good luck with your selection.

    LeRoy

  10. #10
    RGA
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    If you buy used you can spend your $300 on 5-10 year old speakers that went for $700-$1200. You will likely get a much much better speaker than anything on the market new for $300.

    Also if you are a little bit handy you could buy a speaker kit and put it together yourself - and in all likely-hood you will get better sound as a result. http://www.parts-express.com/wizards...AT&srchCat=769

    As the Parts express guys noted - some of their kits that sell for $300 are pretty much the same as many of the standmounts sold as name brands going for $2,000. So if you can use a screwdriver it might be worth a shot.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for your replies guys. I'm looking into all of them, researching them a bit. Here is another option. The store that I ordered the RA-02 from has, what appears, to be a sweet deal on some Elan THP650LS Dual 6.5" Front Stage Cabinet Loudspeaker. Anyone have any experience with these by chance?

    Thanks again for you replies.

    Also, I'm not against floor standers but would prefer the bookshelf sized as they will fit into the built-in bookshelf along the wall.

    Hoping to score a set of Paradigm Studio 20s if they price is right. Older V2s but people rave about them so I'm willing to try them out.

  12. #12
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbonebrown

    Also, I'm not against floor standers but would prefer the bookshelf sized as they will fit into the built-in bookshelf along the wall.
    This will probably make most members here cringe. You're a lot better off using dedicated stands with 'bookshelf' speakers

  13. #13
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    You should listen to aa about speaker stands. Contrary to the name bookshelf speakers rarely if ever sound good on bookshelves. Get some good stands that place the tweeters at ear height when seated. Place speakers and stands well away from room boundaries. Then experiment with small adjustments to get optimum sound.

    Why bother buying good speakers if you're going to place them like they were "Bose" cubes.

    What I or anyone else thinks about any speaker means nothing. Only you as the buyer user/listener can decide. What sounds good to me may not to you and vica versa. Trust your own ears. Don't buy any speakers unless you hear them first. Buy what you like, not what someone recommends.
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  14. #14
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Bookshelf, it is a bit of irony isn't it. Last place you want a speaker...

  15. #15
    AR Newbie Registered Member KiltriP's Avatar
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    I understand how you like Paradigms, as I am a big fan of their higher end speakers. I picked up a pair of Paradigm Atoms off of craigslist and after a few months I decided to sell them to order something else. It worked out since I sold them for more than I paid. I actually ordered Wharfedale 10.1's and paid $299 for them and I am more than pleased with my decision. You could pick up some Wharfedale 9.1's easier than 10.1's at the moment and you could find them for under $300/pair anywhere. Check our PSB B5's or as someone else said some PSB b25's. I think with any of those you will actually be happier than with a lower end of Paradigms. I have heard that you can buy some Tannoy Mercury F1's for around $200 and that they are incredible. All of the ones i've mentioned are award winning speakers and all of them are under the $300 range. You won't be disappointed.

  16. #16
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    I'll keep that Atom comment in mind, thanks. Everyone makes cheap stuff, very true.

    The "bookshelf" is more of a 24" rail/bench that extends out from the wall and spans the entire length. Not ideal but it doesn't need to be.

    I agree with your placement/stands comment JoeESP9 but this is for a man cave/ping pong room. I will not be sitting at all, rather moving around playing a game of table tennis with friends. I have my main listening area for that quality sit but a man can't spend all his time on the couch can he? Do you?

    I don't agree with your second comment on buying only what I hear and not taking any consideration of what others think. I personally think I can benefit from what others have to state of their personal experiences, without hearing the hardware in person. The local dealer only has so much of a selection and it's not always the cheapest with the internet in play. I just thought it would be nice to hear what others thought or had experience on filling a larger room with a smaller Rotel amp and smaller speakers. I guess my question for you would be if you really feel that "What I or anyone else thinks about any speaker means nothing." why would you ever read my post and post a reply?

    I appreciate the feedback from everyone, I'll keep looking and try to get to my local shop soon if I don't get a solid deal on the Studio 20s, Silverline Minuets, etc. I'm going down the path of high end speaker that are used. I've had one set of my Paradigms for 7 years and they sound as good as they did the first 3 months!

    Thanks again folks and I'll keep ya posted on what I end up with.

  17. #17
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    If you buy used you can spend your $300 on 5-10 year old speakers that went for $700-$1200. You will likely get a much much better speaker than anything on the market new for $300.

    Also if you are a little bit handy you could buy a speaker kit and put it together yourself - and in all likely-hood you will get better sound as a result. http://www.parts-express.com/wizards...AT&srchCat=769

    As the Parts express guys noted - some of their kits that sell for $300 are pretty much the same as many of the standmounts sold as name brands going for $2,000. So if you can use a screwdriver it might be worth a shot.
    It's nice to see that Parts Express has expanded its speakers kit selection -- some nice looking options there, especially among their higher end kits.

    I like this MTM format kit with Usher drivers for US$455 ought to give strong competitions to $2000-3000 MSRP speakers from major manufacturers.


  18. #18
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbonebrown
    I'll keep that Atom comment in mind, thanks. Everyone makes cheap stuff, very true.

    The "bookshelf" is more of a 24" rail/bench that extends out from the wall and spans the entire length. Not ideal but it doesn't need to be.

    I agree with your placement/stands comment JoeESP9 but this is for a man cave/ping pong room. I will not be sitting at all, rather moving around playing a game of table tennis with friends. I have my main listening area for that quality sit but a man can't spend all his time on the couch can he? Do you?

    I don't agree with your second comment on buying only what I hear and not taking any consideration of what others think. I personally think I can benefit from what others have to state of their personal experiences, without hearing the hardware in person. The local dealer only has so much of a selection and it's not always the cheapest with the internet in play. I just thought it would be nice to hear what others thought or had experience on filling a larger room with a smaller Rotel amp and smaller speakers. I guess my question for you would be if you really feel that "What I or anyone else thinks about any speaker means nothing." why would you ever read my post and post a reply?

    I appreciate the feedback from everyone, I'll keep looking and try to get to my local shop soon if I don't get a solid deal on the Studio 20s, Silverline Minuets, etc. I'm going down the path of high end speaker that are used. I've had one set of my Paradigms for 7 years and they sound as good as they did the first 3 months!

    Thanks again folks and I'll keep ya posted on what I end up with.
    Having been at this for a long time I've made plenty of mistakes with gear. The biggest and worst have all been speaker related. Every time I bought speakers that I ended up not liking it was because of a recommendation from someone else.
    I suppose my being a planar speaker fan has some significance. After ESL's nothing else sounds right to me. For the last several months I've been looking for some bookshelf size speakers to replace a pair of Minimus 7's. It has been an eventful and unsatisfying journey. The speakers that get the best recommendations from others are usually the least satisfying to me.
    Unlike some enthusiasts I rarely change gear once I've purchased it. This is probably why I place so much emphasis on auditioning gear before buying. I do agree that buying used high end is probably the best cost vs. performance wise. Whatever you do decide on I hope it's exactly what you want.
    No, I don't spend all my time in my listening chair. Although, now that I'm retired the reasons for moving are not as many or important now. Having a substantial portion of my recordings on a PC's hard drive with remote access to it makes one even less liable to move.
    Oh well, it's winter and we have plenty of snow outside. That gives me more reasons to sit and vegetate. I did shovel my sidewalk. It's a $50 fine if you don't.

    Also, I follow threads like this in the hope that someone will mention something I haven't heard or considered. I really want to replace those Minimus 7's and planars are just not practical in my bedroom. Whatever I buy will get a listen first.

    I'm looking forward to finding out what you finally get.
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  19. #19
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    Lots of snow JoeE and lots more coming I'm sure!

    I took a half day and went to the "shop" today. I listened to a pair of B&W 602s that were there on consignment and realized I would probably need an amp to listen to them at the level I usually do, wiht that Rotel RA-02. The Rotel is only a 40W system so I would then end up purchasing a stereo power amp, costing me more. I listened to the Paradigm Titans through a Cambridge Audio 75W and was very impressed. I also listend to my current Cinema Micros (in another room with a Sonos amp) with a Paradigm PDR 8" and 10" on that same Cambridge system and it was pretty amazing how much the sub filled in for where the Micros fell short. I am now on the search for a sub to add to that Sonos system to improve that room as well.

    I missed the opportunity on the Minuets today!!! They came up for sale and were sold in less then an hour or else I would have those in the mail...GrrrrrRRRrrrr. Thanks for the tip on those MtnMan!

    I'll keep searching away and maybe find a good deal on the Titans, possibly bite the bullet and buy new, or keep the search alive for some others.

    Thanks again for the feedback and I'll keep ya posted!

  20. #20
    _ Luvin Da Blues's Avatar
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    Mordaunt-Short-Avant-902i 1/2 Price at Needledoctor

    I may have to pick up a couple of these for this price, check it out


    http://www.needledoctor.com/Mordaunt...akers-in-Black
    Back in my day, we had nine planets.

  21. #21
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    Tbone......I know you are doing your due diligence....

    Quote Originally Posted by tbonebrown
    I'll keep searching away and maybe find a good deal on the Titans, possibly bite the bullet and buy new, or keep the search alive for some others.

    Thanks again for the feedback and I'll keep ya posted!
    It's always great to get out on search and listen mission anytime. You must have had some fun doing that today.....but I gotta tell ya...you'd be much better off with the M.S Avant 902i's than with the Titans.

    I have both the 902i's and the Aviano 2's and prefer the 902i's. Also, IRG (another forum member) recently purchased the 902i's and he says they shake his house when he cranks up the volume and you can read IRG's comments in his thread regarding putting together a frugal system.

    I kid you not Tbone, the 902i's are great little speaker and I refer to them as unheralded classics. Just thought you might want more insight before you pulled the trigger on the Titans.

  22. #22
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    Thank you for your order! - Needle Doctor

    Always fun going to Stereoland just a little dangerouns at times.

    I ordered a pair of the 902i Leroy! They better sound as good as you say!! LOL

    I can't go wrong for $250 right? That's is pretty d@mn cheap. I'll keep looking for a set of the Titans and do a side by side on my systems and let you know what I think.

    Anyone ever listen to the Wharfedale Evo 2-10 by chance?

  23. #23
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    Glad you made the move for the M.S. while available..

    Quote Originally Posted by tbonebrown
    Always fun going to Stereoland just a little dangerouns at times.

    I ordered a pair of the 902i Leroy! They better sound as good as you say!! LOL

    I can't go wrong for $250 right? That's is pretty d@mn cheap. I'll keep looking for a set of the Titans and do a side by side on my systems and let you know what I think.

    Anyone ever listen to the Wharfedale Evo 2-10 by chance?
    I know you're gonna love them. The 902i's $225/pr punked my Usher S-520's $425/pr in a no contest kind of way. I also thought the 902's were more musical than my Nola Mini's $695.00/pr, and Wharfedale Diamond 9.1's @ $250/pr. The Usher's, Nola's, and Wharfedale's have been kicked off the curb now and only the Mordaunt's remain in house.

    Nope, I never have had an opportunity to hear the Evo's. Well, if you do a side by side with any other speaker, regardless of brand, model, or $, I sure would welcome your opinion and commentary.



    LeRoy

  24. #24
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    Leroy, what type of music are you listening to on these 902is?

    I'll let ya know what I think as soon as I get them. I then get back to ya at a later date once I do the side by side!

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    Eclectic tastes for me....

    Quote Originally Posted by tbonebrown
    Leroy, what type of music are you listening to on these 902is?

    I'll let ya know what I think as soon as I get them. I then get back to ya at a later date once I do the side by side!
    Primarily Jazz and New Age music. Also, I listen to some electronic music and rock. To name a few artists....Boney James, Patricia Barber, Boz Scaggs, Tosca (which is a Japanese band that plays primarily electronic music but the music is not ethnic), David Gray, Rickie Lee Jones, Corrine Bailey Rae, 9 Inch Nails, Jesse Cook, Enigma, Sade,
    Ceu, Norah Jones, Stellamara, Denise Young, Aine Minogue (Celtic music), Soloman Burke, Massive Attack, Kem, a variety of Middle Eastern and Flamenco, and too many others to list.

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