Question Bookshelf speakers purely for music?!

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Speakers' started by Kleung, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Kleung

    Kleung
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    Hi all, I’ve been reading a lot on this forum and I want to thank you all for the informative discussions! This will be my first post as I’m having trouble deciding what speakers to get, any help would be much appreciated!

    To start off with, I’m a noob in the hifi world. Two years ago I bought a Goldnote AP-7 amp with a power output of 2*30W. I paired it with a pair of budget KEF floorstanders which I got for free from relatives. Now I am hoping to upgrade the speakers with a budget of max £1000. Here’s some additional info:

    Amp: Goldnote AP-7 2*30W
    Source: Mostly CD, occasionally Bluetooth (with an Arcam Bluetooth receiver)
    Requirement: for music only (jazz, country, rock, nothing too heavy)
    Room size: 3.5m x 7m

    I understand that the power from the small Goldnote amp is quite limited but I really liked its size. I’m looking at bookshelf speakers as I prefer the look and presume that they don’t require as much power to feed?! (Pls correct me if I’m wrong)

    Anyway I have done some research and shortlisted a few speakers:

    Monitor audio silver 100

    Dynaudio emit M20/ m10

    B&w 606

    Linn Majik 109

    Quad s-2

    Fyne Audio f500


    Would these pair well in the system? Any other recommendations are welcome!



    Thank you!!
     
  2. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    Hi , i picked up a pair of MA MR2 in unused state for 50 quid..and they are lovely!. I see that Amazon have someone selling them at 138 quid. I had heard in a Richer Sounds shop a week previously a MA Silver 4 or 6 playing harp and guitar and wanted something similar..
     
  3. Ugg10

    Ugg10
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  4. Kleung

    Kleung
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    Thanks for the suggestion! The Sonus Faber look absolutely gorgeous. Will try it out when I get the chance.

    On another note, I tried out the monitor audio yesterday but it sounded way below my expectations. The speakers just sounded ‘flat’ overall. Anyone had similar experience?
     
  5. Viet Le

    Viet Le
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    On your list, I auditioned the B&W 606 and Dynaudio Emit M20 at the local store.

    For nearly the same price, I would pick M20 over the 606. The 606 received not quite positive review in light of the previous movel 685 s2.

    Dynaudio Emit M10/M20 is highly regarded in this price range. But note that Dynaudios need to be placed clear from walls.

    Also I would get an amp 60Wpc or above for these speakers.
     
  6. dogfonos

    dogfonos
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    There are two factors to consider...

    Speaker efficiency (or sensitivity).
    If you keep the fairly low-powered Goldnote amp and wish to fill your quite large room with sound then I suggest you choose a loudspeaker that is efficient. In general, bookshelf/standmount speakers tend to be less efficient than floorstanding speakers - but not always. And the smaller the bookshelf speaker, the lower its efficiency, generally speaking. Don't confuse speaker power handling (or power requirements) with speaker efficiency. Speaker efficiency is about how loud a speaker will play for a given power input. So the higher the efficiency and the higher the power handling, the louder a speaker will play.

    Speaker size.
    IME, some of the speakers you suggest in post#1 are too small to give a tonally well-balanced sound in a large room. However, if the speakers are to be positioned such that they point across the room width (i.e the listening position is less than 3m away from speakers) then a smaller model might work OK. Generally, a small speaker used in a large room will lack impact (and bass) and sound weedy. Conversely, too large a speaker in a small room will sound bass-heavy and (often) muddled too.

    An efficient speaker, according to the specs,and about the right size for your room would be:
    Q Acoustics 3050i

    This should fill the entire room with sound and make the most of limited amp power as it is quite efficient. I'm not recommending this speaker on sound quality grounds as I've not heard it though it gets good reviews.
     
  7. Kleung

    Kleung
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    Dogfonos thank you so much for the info! Indeed I was not aware of the difference in amp power and efficiency.

    I will upgrade the amp eventually but perhaps not for another few years. So in the mean time, I guess I will stick with the Goldnote.

    The speakers will be placed across the room so the listening position will be approximate 3m from the speakers. Would you still recommend a pair of floorstanders?

    Thanks!!

    Kevin
     
  8. dogfonos

    dogfonos
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    That's a difficult one to predict. I've only tried a couple of speakers firing across the width of my listening rooms (where the room width was around half the room length) so I'm not best placed to judge which size of speaker will likely give the most accurate sound although I would rule out speakers with a single 5" bass/mid driver per cabinet as probably being too small - and also such speakers are rarely efficient so won't be ideal on that front anyway.

    Best guess would be a smaller floorstander, something the size of the Monitor Audio Silver 200 or a large bookshelf the size of the MA Silver 100. Again, I'm not recommending particular speakers, just giving an indication of the speaker size I consider to be appropriate for your room.

    Would be good to hear experiences of others who position their speakers to fire across the room width - where the room length is considerably more.

    Did you listen to the MA Silver 100's in your own room or another room (if so, what was the room size, approx)? By 'flat', do you mean lifeless, lacking impact or tonally unbalanced or something else? This might give a clue to your sonic tastes.
     
  9. Kleung

    Kleung
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    Thank you again! Will look into some of the compact floorstanders.

    I listened to the MA silver 100 in a small room at a shop. I’m not sure if it was due to the placement (they were on a shelf with little space at the back) or what but it just lacked dynamics, the treble sounded thin And I guess ‘lifeless’ would be the word to describe them.

    In general I don’t fancy too much bass as I’ve heard large floorstanders with huge bass that could drown out the mids, which is why I thought bookshelf speakers would perhaps be worth considering.

    Anyway, will continue the search and find the time to check the speakers out at a shop. Would also love to hear from your personal experience with any speakers you’ve owned before!

    Thanks!!
     
  10. Geekanoids

    Geekanoids
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    I just love the Monitor audio silver 100 as I think they offer great value for money and sound superb. Placement is key with these speakers though, so I would go dedicated stands rather than on a bookshelf.
     
  11. dogfonos

    dogfonos
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    UOTE="Geekanoids, post: 26829779, member: 781660"]Placement is key with these speakers though, so I would go dedicated stands rather than on a bookshelf.[/QUOTE]

    I'd agree with that. True of most, if not all, quality small speakers.

    I wonder though if bookshelf placement could turn a well-reviewed quality speaker like the MA Silver 100 - considered both smooth and dynamic - into a flat, thin, lifeless sounding speaker? I can't be certain, but IMO, probably not. I would expect different sonic problems when a small (well, the Silver 100 is not that small) speaker is positioned on a bookshelf such as an increase in mid-range colouration and bloated bass (possibly emphasized by the small room) but not a loss of dynamics and not a thin sound either. I suspect another, as yet unidentified factor may be at play in this instance.

    I wouldn't rule out a poor source or unsuitable amplification but my best guess would be the Silver 100 was straight out-of-the-box so not run-in. The thin, lifeless sound you describe sounds more like a lack of playing time than problems with speaker positioning or support. I know from experience that some speakers really do need a significant running-in period before sounding anything like their best.

    Geekanoids - Did your Silver 100's sound significantly better after a few days/weeks running-in?

    The only speaker I positioned on a bookshelf was decades ago (remember the Videotone Minimax?) and that didn't seem to mind much but then it only had a 5" bass/mid driver and was a sealed box design. The MA Silver 100 is a larger speaker and, perhaps importantly, has a rear facing port so would likely need a good few inches behind for the port to 'breath'. Stands would certainly be better support.

    It would be a good idea to get a better demonstration of the MA Silver 100, if that's possible, and compare it with competitors under equally good listening conditions. Maybe easier said than done?

    Yes, I've had similar experiences. I once had a demo (in a reputable London hifi shop) where a pair of large (and I mean huge) IMF transmission line speakers were positioned, almost hidden, beneath deep shelving in a small room. Disaster. And I only went for an amplifier demo - Lord knows why they chose to demo with enormous speakers. Damn, I'm rambling again. My last New Year's resolution bites the dust.

    But don't be put off floorstanders. In the right room, a decent pair can sound great. I think it's fair to say that larger cabinet panels often lead to greater sound colouration whereas panel resonances in smaller speakers are often less pronounced. However, when manufacturers make the effort to reduce cabinet colouration of their larger speakers (such as the Q Acoustics Concept 500 with their MDF/Gelcore panels), the results can be exceptional.

    Do you like the sound from this setup? If not, what aspects of the sound don't you like? By the way, what model is the KEF floorstander? And do the KEF's currently 'fire' across the width of the room?
     

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