Bookshelf options

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 1709 times.

mastercraft1990

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 8
Bookshelf options
« on: 27 Dec 2017, 06:03 am »
Looking for some help in picking my next bookshelf speakers. I now have my second set of kit MTM Bookshelf speakers and wanted to upgrade to the best bang for the buck in a 2 to 3K range.  I started out with the Parts Express RS722 MTM in the 1.0CF cabinet and then fit a new baffle with Danny Richies X-MTM Encore setup and have been listening to that for the last year or so.  I have it narrowed down to the Selah Audio Tempesta for around 2700.00 in kit form, the BMR Philharmonitor @ 1600.00 with a Salk cabinet or the Salk Sound Ellis 1801 @ 2195.00 + tax (I live in MI)  I have a pair of Klipsch 12" subs and would prefer to stay with a stand mount. I'm into rock/blues and do a lot of my listening on Pandora.  I'm only a little over an hour from Salk but if he doesn't have the speakers you want to listen to being built for someone else, you cant preview them.  All 3 offer a trial period so that's a good thing but I want to get it right the first time. These will be part of a 5.2 with a Marantz 5011 AVR pushing a Outlaw 5000 amp. I have the AV123 X-Voce center channel and the X-LS Encore with upgraded caps for surrounds.  Not worried about matching those speakers for now.




JLM

  • Restricted
  • Posts: 8654
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: Bookshelf options
« Reply #1 on: 27 Dec 2017, 12:55 pm »
All these use high quality drivers and should be a major step up from your current gear (maybe too big of a step up).  Are you replacing all five non-subwoofers?  If not, timbre/efficiency/general sound quality matching could be a very real challenge.  And IMO any of these speakers will out-class your current system and could be too hard of a load for your electronics.  Are you looking to soon be upgrading the rest?

How big is your room?  How much freedom do you have for optimal setup?  Most audio folks IMO over invest for the given room.

Please do try to audition before purchase.  It's impossible to select speakers based solely on the opinions of others.  Good drivers and nice veneer don't necessarily make for good speakers.  BTW I'm a fan of 6 - 7 inch woofers as they don't lack mid-bass 'body'.

Note that none of these speakers present easy loads nor are they particularly efficient which in my experience means they would tend to not be very dynamic (very important for action movies, which I assume you watch given a 5.2 system).  Frankly these speakers look like nice audio speakers but not obvious choices for audio and AV use. 

Take care.

uncola

Re: Bookshelf options
« Reply #2 on: 27 Dec 2017, 01:45 pm »
I’d listen to JLM.  For movies you want some high sensitivity stuff.  That current center channel you have looks massive!  Since you already have dual subs maybe you want to try some diysoundgroup kits..  they make hometheatre specific stuff.  Not trying to steal business from rick...

roscoe65

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 645
Re: Bookshelf options
« Reply #3 on: 27 Dec 2017, 02:19 pm »
I fail to see the need to upgrade.  The drivers used in your front channel speakers are excellent and if you are using the upgraded crossovers and a sheet of No Rez they would be hard to beat.  Your speakers are not your limiting factor right now.  If I were looking to improve the sound, I would:

1.  Subscribe to a high quality music service such as Tidal or Deezer.  Pandora is giving you lossy files.
2.  You are using a lower-midline Marantz receiver and an outboard amp.  I would sell the two of them and invest a little more money on a Marantz SR 6012.  If you do this, I would also add two sets of small Atmos height speakers.
3.  Replace your subwoofers.  For my money and your setup, I would look at a pair of Rythmik L12 subwoofers.

A pair of higher end stand mount speakers from the manufacturers you listed are expensive ($1,500 - $3,000), and in the context of your system you can improve the sound much more in other areas for the same money.  Hell, for $3,000 you could build a whole new great sounding small system to sit alongside your HT rig.

JLM

  • Restricted
  • Posts: 8654
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: Bookshelf options
« Reply #4 on: 27 Dec 2017, 03:23 pm »
I completely understand and respect roscoe65's perspective, but some of us are "speaker guys".  The worst of the speaker guys would live happily with crappy source/electronics/etc.  But the move to Tidal is a no-brainer.  And his advice to replace your receiver/amp makes good sense too.  I like Rythmik subs and the L12 is their cheapest, certainly an improvement over your Klipsch subs.  I'm not impressed with the rest of your speakers, so understand the want to upgrade. 

Your current system (what is the DVD player?) seems quality matched, would be hard to crack that case without upgrading it all or suffering from parts of the system frustratingly holding the rest back.

roscoe65, could you make suggestion(s) for a $3000 replacement system?

Rick Craig

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 3427
  • Selah Audio
    • http://www.selahaudio.com
Re: Bookshelf options
« Reply #5 on: 27 Dec 2017, 05:45 pm »
A note on streaming. I am set up to stream Pandora, Spotify, and Tidal. Pandora is fine for casual listening and with a good recording isn't too bad. Spotify is along the same lines, maybe a little better in resolution. Tidal is the best for sonics of the three but of course is the most expensive.

mastercraft1990

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 8
Re: Bookshelf options
« Reply #6 on: 27 Dec 2017, 05:48 pm »
Thanks for the feedback, I just picked up the AVR less than a year ago and I thought the Outlaw would have enough power to push the speakers that I mentioned with 5 x 120 watts into 8 ohms or 5 x 180 watts into 4 ohms (all channels driven) but oh well.  I'm just now trying to figure out how to stream either Deezer or Tidal to my system to see if that makes a marked improvement.  I don't think my system is BAD sounding, I just get overtaken by my ADHD once in a while and go off the rails with a laptop on my lap.  The listening area is in the basement where I'm in the process of tearing out the old dropped ceiling to allow for cleaning up 40 years of Romex sins so I can then paint it flat black (only 7' to bottom of floor joist).  The listening area is 16' x 16' with a a staircase off to the side and the its completely open behind the couch for another 25' x 40'.  Not the best space and I don't plan on any treatments.

Rick Craig

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 3427
  • Selah Audio
    • http://www.selahaudio.com
Re: Bookshelf options
« Reply #7 on: 27 Dec 2017, 06:10 pm »
Thanks for the feedback, I just picked up the AVR less than a year ago and I thought the Outlaw would have enough power to push the speakers that I mentioned with 5 x 120 watts into 8 ohms or 5 x 180 watts into 4 ohms (all channels driven) but oh well.  I'm just now trying to figure out how to stream either Deezer or Tidal to my system to see if that makes a marked improvement.  I don't think my system is BAD sounding, I just get overtaken by my ADHD once in a while and go off the rails with a laptop on my lap.  The listening area is in the basement where I'm in the process of tearing out the old dropped ceiling to allow for cleaning up 40 years of Romex sins so I can then paint it flat black (only 7' to bottom of floor joist).  The listening area is 16' x 16' with a a staircase off to the side and the its completely open behind the couch for another 25' x 40'.  Not the best space and I don't plan on any treatments.

You have plenty of power available. What areas in the speaker performance would you like to improve upon?

mastercraft1990

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 8
Re: Bookshelf options
« Reply #8 on: 27 Dec 2017, 06:56 pm »
I know it looks to be set up for HT, but that is secondary, maybe 10 to 15 % of listening.  I'm just looking to upgrade the 2 channel sound.  I know that my subwoofers are not the best but if I get a decent Monitor, they shouldn't be adding that much to the sound or am I wrong about this. I don't know, maybe without room treatments and it being a cave to start with, I'm just wasting my time and money.  I'm gonna see if Tidal makes a difference.

mastercraft1990

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 8
Re: Bookshelf options
« Reply #9 on: 27 Dec 2017, 07:25 pm »
I see all these setups with Raal ribbons and Hiquphon Tweeters and the Seas and Scan-Speak woofers and the quality of these components and think that the drivers in my MTM's with 50.00 tweeters and 30.00 woofers and crossovers sourced from ?, that there is some more detailed speakers out there. I picked up the 2 ways off AC from a guy that claimed that the builder upgraded the caps and added No Rez, I added No Rez and had Danny's Encore X-overs with the Peerless T26SG tweeter in the MTM's I put together.  I did an A/B comparison with those and they seem to sound the same, but compared to something else, who knows.

Rick Craig

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 3427
  • Selah Audio
    • http://www.selahaudio.com
Re: Bookshelf options
« Reply #10 on: 27 Dec 2017, 08:44 pm »
I’d listen to JLM.  For movies you want some high sensitivity stuff.  That current center channel you have looks massive!  Since you already have dual subs maybe you want to try some diysoundgroup kits..  they make hometheatre specific stuff.  Not trying to steal business from rick...

That's it - you're banned!...jk  :lol:

The kits there are a mixed bag in my opinion. Some with very little information to indicate how they might perform.

Rick Craig

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 3427
  • Selah Audio
    • http://www.selahaudio.com
Re: Bookshelf options
« Reply #11 on: 27 Dec 2017, 10:16 pm »
For your system I would suggest the Fedele. Down the road if you decide to upgrade a matching center could be designed as well. The horizontal layout of the MTM section of the center channel doesn't give smooth horizontal response. The Fedele kit is $1,375/pr. or I could give you a good price for an assembled pair.

The better quality drivers will give you the best return for your investment. Based on your room and listening preferences the Fedele is a better fit than the Tempesta.




Rick Craig

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 3427
  • Selah Audio
    • http://www.selahaudio.com
Re: Bookshelf options
« Reply #12 on: 28 Dec 2017, 05:10 am »
I see all these setups with Raal ribbons and Hiquphon Tweeters and the Seas and Scan-Speak woofers and the quality of these components and think that the drivers in my MTM's with 50.00 tweeters and 30.00 woofers and crossovers sourced from ?, that there is some more detailed speakers out there. I picked up the 2 ways off AC from a guy that claimed that the builder upgraded the caps and added No Rez, I added No Rez and had Danny's Encore X-overs with the Peerless T26SG tweeter in the MTM's I put together.  I did an A/B comparison with those and they seem to sound the same, but compared to something else, who knows.

The speaker's sound is basically 45%-drivers, 45%-design & execution, and 10%-crossover parts. I know some would argue differently but that's been my observation over several years as an audiophile and designer.

JLM

  • Restricted
  • Posts: 8654
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: Bookshelf options
« Reply #13 on: 28 Dec 2017, 01:05 pm »
Careful to remove drop ceiling.  Did that decades ago in a house with 7 foot basement and the amount of sound that transmitted up and down without the drop ceiling was amazing.  Even in current house with insulated 8 foot drywall ceilings and recessed can lights the amount of sound transmission is remarkable (use wall sconces instead).

The most ignored factor to system performance is the room and in particular room shape.  Read Floyd Toole's "Sound Reproduction" to learn about room shape, set up, how sound behaves in-room, etc.  With the right shape and set-up treatments are barely needed. 

Agreed that poor drivers can't be compensated for by anything else in the playback system.  Not to say inexpensive drivers always equals poor drivers.

JLM

  • Restricted
  • Posts: 8654
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: Bookshelf options
« Reply #14 on: 28 Dec 2017, 01:06 pm »
Rick, what exactly do you mean by "design & execution"?

And what are the "Fedele"?  (Don't see them on your site.)

Rick Craig

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 3427
  • Selah Audio
    • http://www.selahaudio.com
Re: Bookshelf options
« Reply #15 on: 28 Dec 2017, 05:34 pm »
[quote autho.r=JLM link=topic=154634.msg1653761#msg1653761 date=1514466363]
Rick, what exactly do you mean by "design & execution"?

And what are the "Fedele"?  (Don't see them on your site.)
[/quote]

The crossover design and driver layout / configuration (monopole, dipole, line array,etc). Basically, the cook's recipe.

I think I didn't add the Fedele since the above picture is all that I have from when I designed the prototype. It's a 6.5" 3-way with a Scan-Speak beryllium dome tweeter, SB/Satori midrange, and SB carbon fiber / Rohacell woofer. A lower cost alternative to the Tempesta and a very good value.

mastercraft1990

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 8
Re: Bookshelf options
« Reply #16 on: 31 Dec 2017, 09:27 pm »
I have been listening to Tidal for the last 3 days or so and like what I'm hearing!  It was quite a process to get the app to my system without using Bluetooth from my phone or connecting my laptop to my system. I picked up a Nvidia Shield streaming devise and hooked it up with a cat5 cable to my router because I wanted the best connection possible.  I started out with Deezer but ended up with Tidal because of my inability to locate an app on a streaming devise. I also found a sweet deal on a pair of bookshelf speakers on AC, Selah Audio Tempestas and I cant wait to get them here and hooked up!