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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:31 pm
Posts: 93
Location: Vancouver, BC, CA
It's been a while since I've been on here, but given some changes in life, I'd like to alter my audio system. More specifically, I need to downsize from tower speakers to a pair of standmount/bookshelf speakers... And, unfortunately, I don't really have the room to spare for the stands, so I use the term "standmount" loosely. For reference, my current system consists of:

- Laptop
- Steinberg MI-4 DAC (USB input, S/PDIF output)
- ADA SSD-66 (5.1) preamp/processor (I run it in stereo and use the onboard DAC)
- Bryston 4B (Very old, with plain old RCA inputs)
- B&W DM580's

The system doubles as a home theatre setup... Or, more accurately, it "doubles" as a music system, as I haven't had much time to listen to it. Still, music is my priority, and I'd rather have the new speakers be more music than movie oriented. The Steinberg DAC will soon be replaced with an older (~ 3 year old) Cambridge Audio DAC Magic, so I'll be running a pure analog output through the preamp.

Now, as mentioned, my issue is the lack of space... I live in a 500 square foot apartment, and space is at a premium. I no longer have the space the towers require, and I'd rather go with something smaller that I can wall-mount or put on a shelf... Yes, I do realize it's not ideal, but again, I'm willing to take a slight hit in sound quality to save the space.

I know there's lots of speakers available that will perform well in these conditions, but I need something that isn't too pricey... I'm probably looking in the range of about $250 to $450, all inclusive, for new or used. I'd prefer used, as I can save on taxes and I'll probably get a better speaker for the money, but I'm willing to look at new as well.

I've done a bit of thinking, and I think my big concerns are clarity and "imaging"/soundstage (I think)... Basically, I want to listen to the music, not the "speakers". Bass response isn't as much of a concern... I'm willing to pick up a passive sub at some point to fill out the sound. I've read good reviews of the Focal Chorus 705V/706V line, but haven't had a chance to hear them, and a new set of 705V's costs $500 at a local shop... The 706V's are even pricier. The Wharfedale 10.1's seem good too... A shop here has them for closer to $300, IIRC, but I've also read that they require more space behind them due to the rear ports...

I'm not brand-selective, and I'll have a listen to as many speakers as I can, but I'm just looking for suggestions on good speakers that don't need a lot of room behind them... I'd like to have them as close to the wall as possible (less than 6" away"), either mounted directly to the wall or on a shelf. It seems like Focal, Wharfedale, Klipsch, Tannoy, and Polk Audio are more-or-less in my price range (especially used), but that's a lot of possibilities...

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ADA SSD-66 (5.1) pre/processor; Bryston 4B (x2) & Hafler 220; Laptop with Steinberg MI-4 and Cambridge Audio DAC Magic; Furman power conditioner; Focal Chorus 705V's, Polk Audio RT-15's, and an Energy center speaker.


Last edited by popeface on Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:07 pm
Posts: 387
Location: Montreal, QC, CA
How about some Ushers S-520 or get some active speakers such as the audioengine a5.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 12:57 pm
Posts: 1198
Location: Markham, ON, CA
Well you should definitely be looking for a sealed box or front ported design. Unfortunately these tend to be a little pricey. A Spendor S3/5 or Harbeth P3 would suit. Linn Tukan or Katan work well with little space also and can be found cheaper.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 4:29 pm
Posts: 150
Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
I have a small apartment and got a used pair of Quad 11L's and love them. Beautiful midrange and easy to drive with a tube amp. A used pair would fit your budget, I paid about $400.

Rob

-- 22 Feb 2012 18:35 --

FYI the 11L's are rear ported but I have them about a foot from the wall and they sound very good. Let me know if you want me to move them closer to the wall and I will report back.

Rob


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:00 pm 
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Location: Capital City, ON, CA
PSB. their image series is really good and there are used one's posted here from time to time

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:07 pm 
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Posts: 280
Location: Guelph, ON, CA
What kind of music are you into? How loud do you usually listen?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:25 pm 
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Location: New Westminster, BC, CA
I second the PSB image line. I have some front ported Castles. Yes, avoid rear ported if you need to be close to the wall or flush to the wall. Look for Castle, Mordaunt Short, Quad or similar.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:00 pm 
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Location: mississauga, ON, CA
Nht has speakers in your range, and there sealed. I heard some totem mites on a nad integrated that I liked a lot, but there rear ported. Perhaps some used Paradigm studio 10 v3??

http://www.nhthifi.com/Bookshelf-Speakers


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:59 pm 
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Location: Montreal, QC, CA
What you are looking for are more accurately called Bookshelf speakers. Bookshelves were designed for mounting on, surprize, surprize ....... bookshelves! They also happen to work very well on walls. The original LS3/5A was designed this way. A couple of the better sounding low priced NEW speakers that work well on shelves, in enclosed places or wall mounted are the Polk RTi-A1 ($280 a pair, and to a lesser point their larger sibling the A3) and the Martin Logan Motion 4 (about $400 a pair)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:40 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
B&W DM602, my favourite standmount. As a do it all speaker in that price range I don't think they have any equals.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:28 pm
Posts: 67
Location: oliver, BC, CA
the wharfdale diamonds only keep getting better this is an old design that has been tweaked to the nth...on the other hand paradigm makes some delicious small speakers that some people just rave about...english speakers thet small and efficient are expensive ala thr rogers ls5 i think they are the bbc monitors...now if you want some REALLY GOOD SPEAKERS YAMAHA made a sh1tload of speakers that are very good sounding and inexpensive because a lot of know it alls shun jap speakers...there are some killer monitor style models from yamaha...you see them in studios around the world and that sez a lot...keep your ears and your mind open and you will find the right stuff...good luck :)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:20 pm 
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Location: Dundas, ON, CA
These North Creek Kitty Kat Revelators advertised recently on CAM are in your snack bracket, than they ought to be about as ideal a solution as you'll find. As per the North Creek Music site, the Kitty Kat was optimized for just the sort of setup you are likely dealing with.

Happy Trails!
MTB Vince

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:44 pm 
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Location: DDO, QC, CA
tony00tony wrote:
How about some Ushers S-520 or get some active speakers such as the audioengine a5.


+1 for the S520...was exactly in your situation, needing a stand mount on a shelf bookcase enclosure with no room behind and little on sides...needed front ported, transparent and musical FWIW...they are the best in the price range I have tried in my set up, iDecco. And bass is impressive, great for HT too (matching centre available)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:52 pm 
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Location: Welland, ON, CA
One of the things I find about these type of threads where someone is asking for advice to replace a current piece, with something else and they mention a budget, is we hardly ever seem to know if that budget is taking into account selling the current item, or if they are going to sell the current one or not.

You give a budget of $250 to $450. Does this budget take into consideration that your existing B&W's have some resale value? Are you considering selling your existing speakers? Would you then be adding what you get for the existing speakers to that original budget, or is what you will get for the existing speakers, if you do decide to sell them, the budget? If you will be selling the existing speakers and adding that amount to the original $250 to $450 that completely changes the possible recomendations, a lot of us here would make.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:00 am
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Location: Golden Triangle, ON, CA
good sound wrote:
One of the things I find about these type of threads where someone is asking for advice to replace a current piece, with something else and they mention a budget, is we hardly ever seem to know if that budget is taking into account selling the current item, or if they are going to sell the current one or not.

You give a budget of $250 to $450. Does this budget take into consideration that your existing B&W's have some resale value? Are you considering selling your existing speakers? Would you then be adding what you get for the existing speakers to that original budget, or is what you will get for the existing speakers, if you do decide to sell them, the budget? If you will be selling the existing speakers and adding that amount to the original $250 to $450 that completely changes the possible recomendations, a lot of us here would make.


A Good Point from Goodsound ! Makes a world of differance on what choices there are to the OP.

Cheers


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