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Shopping for bookshelf speakers

post #1 of 5
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I'm trying to get some decent bookshelf speakers to use specifically for my computer. They have to look very nice and classy (has to match black glass desk), I know I'm being very specific lol. I cannot spend more than $3000 CAD for pair.

I am currently looking at the Bowers & Wilkins PM1

http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/Speake.../overview.html

Any recommendations are welcomed, excluding anything over $3000 CAD.
     
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post #2 of 5
Polk Audio LSI 9 in Piano gloss black or cherry. They sound excellent for the price. You can do better than B&W for much less coin. Salk Sound ,Tyler Acoutics, are a two that come to mind off top. Salk has custom finishes that are amazing works of art.
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post #3 of 5
I must say I adore the way B&W presents their engineering approach and spares no expense on their CAD drawings and they do plenty of FEA on their components. However, I think you can do much better for your dollar. Definitely stay way from the Diamond tweeters from B&W. My buddy's dad had some 803D tower speakers and the midrange and bass woofers were incredible, but the diamond tweeter was awful! It was so harsh and crisp that it hurt your ears after 10 minutes of listening. Every "SSsssssss" sound was exaggerated to the point that it sounded like needles.

That being said, I highly recommend you Kudos speakers or Harbeth. They are my two favorite "HiFi" brands. You are in the price range where you should be considering only HiFi branded speakers. Keep in mind a good amplifier and CD/DAC should also be considered. I highly recommend Cambridge Audio gear for the best value.

The Kudos Cardea C1 is an INCREDIBLE bookshelf speaker. My buddy's dad went to these as his center channel and rear speakers for 5.1. He also has the Kudos Cardea C30 as his L&R. They replaced the B&W 803D because they absolutely blew them out of the water. I cannot describe to you how much the C30 destroyed the 803D in our test, but after a day of listening to the C30 we boxed up the 803D and didn't think twice about it.

For Harbeth speakers, you can get the P3ESR bookshelf for under $2000USD. They're great, but the Kudos C1 is much better for the money. The cool thing about the P3ESR is they are really tiny. They don't look like much, but they are fantastic. They're the perfect size for a true "bookshelf" speaker, but the Kudos C1 has a better low-range because of the larger woofer.

Harbeth speakers do best in a large open room. They will work as a desktop speaker, but if you have your computer monitors directly between the 2 speakers you won't get the best sound quality. You would want to make sure you can put the speakers on stands and try to keep them away from as much obstruction as possible.

I would recommend trying to find some used Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 for under $2000, Harbeth Super HL5 for around $3000, or some Harbeth Monitor 30 for around $3000. Keep in mind those are average USED prices for those speakers. Of the Harbeth speakers I listed, I would go for the Super HL5 for its added low range. It's larger than a "bookshelf" speaker, but if you had some quality speaker stands you would be perfect.

All that being said, I know a dealer in Detroit, MI of Harbeth and Kudos speakers. If you can ever come to the Detroit suburb area he will be happy to let you come in and listen to the speakers. You can take as long as you want and he has some killer stuff that gets up into the $20K range as well. It's fun to listen to those speakers and dream . You'll definitely love what he has in stock. If you decide you'd like to go with one of these brands, he will definitely ship to Canada for you. Kudos is difficult to come by outside of the U.K. He is currently the only dealer in the USA.

**EDIT** I spoke with my buddy who is the dealer. He said no problem shipping to Canada. I wanted to double check. If you would like his contact information please PM me so I can give it to you.
Edited by Greg121986 - 8/13/11 at 6:35am
post #4 of 5
You really need to enlist the help of a local hi-fi dealer. They will be able to present to you anything available in that price range and allow you to listen to it, a good dealer will also let you take a pair home to use for a week and demo in your own space.

Do not buy anything based on looks, most speakers come in a wide variety of finishes so that shouldn't be a concern high on the list.

A quick google lead me to this which should start you off in the right direction.

Take your time listening to anything and everything you can afford, it really is something worth taking lots of time over.

Does your budget of $3,000 CAD include an amp? Do you already have one?
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post #5 of 5
Did you decide on anything? My local dealer has plenty of great speakers in stock and ready to ship to Canada.
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