Bookshelf speakers for my Sonos ZP120

Nelviticus

Active Member
I bought a Sonos bundle from Richer Sounds the other weekend and bought a pair of Gale Silver Monitors with it. The Sonos is wonderful but the Gales are pitiful, far punier than I was expecting. They are OK at low volume but turn it up a bit and they sound completely gutless.

So, I've come to the conclusion that I need to spend a bit more than the £80 that I spent on the Gales - although, to be fair, I think there are probably a few speakers around the £80 mark that would have been much better.

I think I can probably go to about £200 without getting vetoed by my other half. I know I shouldn't expect miracles for that kind of money but I'm hoping that there's something in that price zone that can put out a bit of bass while retaining good clarity.

Any recommendations please? They're going to be wall-mounted high up in the corners of a large-ish room (3 x 4 metres) with lots of hard surfaces (a dining room/kitchen with wooden floor).

If I get them from Richer Sounds I will probably be able to get the cost of the Gales knocked off (minus re-stocking fee) so that's where I've mainly been looking. That narrows my choice to Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 (lots of good reviews, but can I do better if I have £200 to spend?), Mordaunt-Short Aviano 1, Dali Lektor 2 (apparently not good in corners) or possibly the Mordaunt-Short Aviano 1 XR.

Or I could buy something else elsewhere ... I'm a bit overwhelmed by the choice to be honest. Unfortunately I don't have the time to go around and audition the candidates because I don't live near any big hi-fi stores - the nearest Richer Sounds is about an hour's drive away.

All advice gratefully received!
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
'They're going to be wall-mounted high up in the corners..."

The first question is - WHY?

Why have you made this choice to wall mount and place deep in the corners, when this is far from ideal? If you must, you must, but it complicates things in the extreme.

How big of cabinets can you handle? Both size and weight?

There are several very good speakers in general that you can purchase in the £100/pr to £200/pr range. But how well they will lend themselves to your unusual requirements, I can't say.

Superfi.co.uk still has the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 on close-out for £99/pr. You can also buy the new Diamond 10.1 for £169 from the same source.

From multiple sources you can still find the Monitor Audio BR1 and BR2 on close-out at attractive prices -

Monitor Audio BR1 - Google Product Search

Monitor Audio BR2 - Google Product Search

Good sources with good prices would be HiFix.co.uk, PeterTyson.co.uk, and QuantumElectronics.co.uk.

The new Monitor Audio Bronze BX1 is also within your budget -

Monitor Audio BX1 - Google Product Search

And the new MA BX2 is just a trace over your budget -

Monitor Audio BX2 - Google Product Search

Worth considering for its very good full range response, would be the Wharfedale Diamond 10.2, though over your budget, and a slightly large speaker -

Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 - Google Product Search


The BR/BX1 are roughly the equivalent of the Diamond 9.1/10.1, and the BR/BX2 roughly the equivalent of the Diamond 10.2 in terms of size, general quality, and frequency response.

This is by no means every possibility, but it is a pretty good starting place. All these speakers are highly rated by both users and critics.

My advice, reconsider the idea of wall mounting and putting the speakers in the corners.

Steve/bluewizard
 

Nelviticus

Active Member
Thanks for the reply.

The answer to 'why?' is that as it's a newly-built extension I took the opportunity to ask the builders to put speaker cabling in the wall, so I have a set of speaker cable sockets where the Sonos will be and another set at the end of the room on either side. I decided on putting them high up because there will be a dining table in that part of the room which will take up a fair amount of the space and the speakers would be behind it if they were at ground level. Also, putting them high up means they don't take up floor space in the corners.

Of course, I made this decision without thinking what effect it would have on sound performance. Unfortunately the speaker points are now in and it's too late to move them: I could run cabling down the wall to stand-mounted speakers but that would look silly and - to be honest - in this room how things look has to be more important than how they sound, even though it's probably where I will do most of my listening. I have to work with what's there but I want to come up with the 'least worst' solution.

I will look into those speakers you linked to. The Gales are just going to make a bad situation sound worse.

*edit: I have a pair of B-Tech side-clamping brackets from Richer Sounds which can take up to 25Kg each. I haven't put up them up yet so I have quite a bit of freedom over cabinet size.
 
Last edited:

Nelviticus

Active Member
Are they really any good? I ask because they're only sixty quid. I know that more expensive doesn't necessarily equate to better but even so, that is very cheap ...
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I'm sure the JBL are very good for the price, but you want to look at the specifications on them. I doubt that the bass response is that great. The JBL are probably smaller and more easy to wall mount, and have a bass response of only about 80hz. That can be OK, as you will see from my example of Sony below.

Still, for casual listening they might be OK.

Also, if you are on a desperation budget, consider there -

SONY SSB1000 SPEAKERS (PAIR) - available from Superfi UK

I have an older version of this Sony bookshelf speaker, and they sound amazing for the very low price they cost. They are probably not the equal of the other speakers I mentioned, but the do get the job done. Also, while the bass specs on the Sony speaker are also not that great (80hz), they give a pretty good illusion of good bass. Keep in mind, I got mine for £20 at a pawn shop, so I'm not complaining.

Still, I think the other speakers I suggested are very good, and bassed on specifications and reputation, are a better choice. The Diamond 9.1 are originally a (roughly) £200/pr, as are the newer Diamond 10.1. The Diamond 10.1 are in a slightly smaller cabinet with the port moved to the rear. Ideally, you would want speakers that are front ported, if you are mounting them on the wall.

It is difficult for us to judge what will work for you because we don't have your brain, or your ears, we can't see your room, and we don't know the nature of your music listening. All we can do is point you at likely speakers, and from that point on, you somewhat have to listen and judge for yourself.

The speakers in my previous post are going to have bass response of 50hz or less, and in the case of some of the larger speakers, they might dip down below 40hz. That is dependable bass.

Steve/bluewizard
 
Last edited:

Nelviticus

Active Member
Thanks again.

Not sure if I was clear when I referred to the speakers being "wall-mounted" - I meant they'd be on swivel brackets which are wall-mounted. So, pretty close to the walls but not actually on them.

The stuff we listen to ranges from Mozart to Metallica via Moby, so anything really. My ears are not great - I am a bit deaf at the higher frequencies, having about 90-95% of most people's hearing range - but my wife has good ears. My brain is small and under-used.

OK, I think I'm going to drive down to Richer Sounds now and have a listen to the Wharfedale Diamond 10.1s, plus any front-ported ones they have of similar spec. If there are none I like then I'll look further into the Monitor Audios, but I won't be able to audition those or part-exchange the Gales for them.

Thanks for all your help. Next time I'll ask here before getting cabling put in!
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Could highly reccomend the dali lektor 1s from RS

Dali LEKTOR 1 Walnut | Speakers Per Pair | Richer Sounds

Bit pricier but great clear speakers..
I think Richer's has excellent prices on the Dali Lektor speakers right now. The Lektor 2 can be had for £179/pr which represents a substantial discount (normally £250). The Lektor while they have bass specs similar to other bookshelf speakers, don't seem to be a real bass heavy speaker. Instead, if rumors are correct, they are an exceptionally clear speaker, and well worth a look and a listen.

In my opinion, the Lektor 1 is a little on the small side, and for the small difference in money, it is well worth moving up to the Lektor 2. The Lektor 3 would be even better, but the price jump between the model 2 and model 3 is huge.

Another speaker from RIcher's would be the Tannoy Mercury Custom F1 for £89/pr. Worth a look and listen.

I'm told the Cambridge Audio speakers sound pretty good, but I would get the biggest you can find. The Cambridge S30 are priced at £129/pr, though they are a little on the small side for my taste.

Of the speakers mentioned, I think I would give a slight edge to the Lektor 2 over the Diamond 10.1. Also, the Lektor is front ported. Though which you will prefer is down to your ears.

Steve/bluewizard
 

Trending threads

Top Bottom