damyan66

Novice Member
Hi all! This is my first post and I wanted to get some help on what you think I should spend my money on.

I currently have the Logitechs Z2300, 2.1 system with a fairly good 120W 8 inch subwoofer and 40W satellites, but I want to upgrade this setup.

I've been looking at some bookshelf speakers and subwoofers that I could potentially get. I have a budget of around £500 and have found these two pairs speakers:
Wharfedale 220 ~ £190 a pair
KEF Q300 ~ can get a pair for £250

I was hoping to get some opinions on which one of these two speakers are better in terms of the overall performance, clarity, bass etc. I also don't mind any new suggestions, as long as the speakers don't cost over ~ £250 a pair.

In addition to the bookshelf speakers, I want to hook up a decent subwoofer (10" or 12"?) to the setup and I've been keen on the BIC PL-200, but it isn't available in the UK so had to look for a different brand. I really like the SVS PB1000 but I do understand that it is out of my budget, so I would love to get some opinion on a subwoofer that would be a nice upgrade from the one in the Logitech Z2300.

For the amp, I'm not exactly sure how I would connect the subwoofer, as some amps only have connections for the speakers, so any help is appreciated. I'm also not too sure what amp to get to power the speakers mentioned above and how I can connect all of this to my computer.

I mostly listen to house and deep house, but also like EDM, dance, rap and maybe a bit of pop music from my computer, so you can say that I like quite a bit of low down bass :D. Also, my room is really quite small - 4x3m.

Please be aware that I am no audiophile but I do enjoy listening to high quality music, so if you could give me any suggestions for my setup, I would be very appreciative! :)

THANKS A LOT!
 

Demon

Active Member
Technically the Q300's (42Hz) should have a bit more bass than the 220's just looking at the spec sheet (42hz vs 56hz), but if you are looking at a sub, then I would say that's not so important, it's more about the overall sound.

The only way you are going to really know is auditioning them yourself, if you have a richer sounds nearby, they will be able to certainly help since they stock a lot around this price range. I would expect the wharfedales to sound pretty decent considering the reviews they've had.

My current setup is
Teac A-H01 (AMP/DAC) - £150
Dali Zensor Pico (all I could fit on my desk!) - £159
BKElec Gemini II sub £225 - 10" Sub, 150W RMS

That's £534 for the complete setup, the Wharfedale 220's would have taken that to £554 as a whole. I would definitely demo a few speakers, some have different soundstage/midrange/detail etc and usually ones you like just jump out as 'right' as soon as you hear them.

I demo'd the speakers/amp at Richer sounds, the amp/dac is being sold off (was £350), so only a few left, and a bargain at that price for the quality, especially as it hooks straight to a PC via USB or can take normal line in / optical in.

The BKElec sub is nice, a real wood finish and nice and compact with enough oomph to match any bookshelf speaker and provide more than enough low end punch. Only if you wanted 'home cinema' would I say you'd want something bigger to really move the furniture around, but for music, tight controlled punch bass is what most people want, and the Gemini is fine for that.

In terms of your logitech, then I think you'll have a pretty decent upgrade even if you spent £100-£200 on bookshelf speakers + sub.
 
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damyan66

Novice Member
Technically the Q300's (42Hz) should have a bit more bass than the 220's just looking at the spec sheet (42hz vs 56hz), but if you are looking at a sub, then I would say that's not so important, it's more about the overall sound.

The only way you are going to really know is auditioning them yourself, if you have a richer sounds nearby, they will be able to certainly help since they stock a lot around this price range. I would expect the wharfedales to sound pretty decent considering the reviews they've had.

My current setup is
Teac A-H01 (AMP/DAC) - £150
Dali Zensor Pico (all I could fit on my desk!) - £159
BKElec Gemini II sub £225 - 10" Sub, 150W RMS

That's £534 for the complete setup, the Wharfedale 220's would have taken that to £554 as a whole. I would definitely demo a few speakers, some have different soundstage/midrange/detail etc and usually ones you like just jump out as 'right' as soon as you hear them.

I demo'd the speakers/amp at Richer sounds, the amp/dac is being sold off (was £350), so only a few left, and a bargain at that price for the quality, especially as it hooks straight to a PC via USB or can take normal line in / optical in.

The BKElec sub is nice, a real wood finish and nice and compact with enough oomph to match any bookshelf speaker and provide more than enough low end punch. Only if you wanted 'home cinema' would I say you'd want something bigger to really move the furniture around, but for music, tight controlled punch bass is what most people want, and the Gemini is fine for that.

In terms of your logitech, then I think you'll have a pretty decent upgrade even if you spent £100-£200 on bookshelf speakers + sub.

Thank you for the helpful information!
The amp in your setup really does look quite good, and so does the subwoofer. How does the fact that it is down firing compare to front firing subs?

Also, would you recommend any other subwoofers of this price range? Wharfedale offers the SPC10 and WHS10, which I can pick up for around £200, but I also saw a Yamaha NS-SW300 for £250. Do you know anything about them?

Thanks :)
 

Demon

Active Member
The Gemini was a bit of a blind purchase, I demo'd the SPC10 which was OK, but seemed to lack control at the low end, that might have been a setup issue, but in the end I've not heard a bad review of the Gemini from users so went for that as it's a nice real wood finish and compact. It certainly does the job and was easy to set up, so no complaints so far.

I think when it comes to subs, companies who specialise in them tend to be favourite on the forums and my experience with speaker manufacturers is they tend to be poor vfm in general, although the wharfedale isn't too badly priced.

AFAIK down firing really doesn't factor in, it's a sealed sub and it's really good on my second story PC rooms wooden floor.
 

damyan66

Novice Member
The Gemini was a bit of a blind purchase, I demo'd the SPC10 which was OK, but seemed to lack control at the low end, that might have been a setup issue, but in the end I've not heard a bad review of the Gemini from users so went for that as it's a nice real wood finish and compact. It certainly does the job and was easy to set up, so no complaints so far.

I think when it comes to subs, companies who specialise in them tend to be favourite on the forums and my experience with speaker manufacturers is they tend to be poor vfm in general, although the wharfedale isn't too badly priced.

AFAIK down firing really doesn't factor in, it's a sealed sub and it's really good on my second story PC rooms wooden floor.

I see. And that's another factor actually - sealed or ported. I have heard that for my music tastes - i.e. deep house, dance, edm etc, ported subs sound better. The Gemini looks nice and has an attractive price, but I'm not sure whether to go for a sealed or ported subs after hearing some reviews, comparing the two types.
 

Demon

Active Member
I see. And that's another factor actually - sealed or ported. I have heard that for my music tastes - i.e. deep house, dance, edm etc, ported subs sound better. The Gemini looks nice and has an attractive price, but I'm not sure whether to go for a sealed or ported subs after hearing some reviews, comparing the two types.

I am a bass head and my home cinema sub goes to 20hz which rattles the windows when cranked up, but listening to music is ott. However If you want high spl heart stopping bass that is ott, then the larger bkelecs are worth considering but are around the £350+ mark. Ported subs do allow lower bass extension and help move a lot of air but that really helps for movies and isn't so important for music, where you tend to want to hear the punchy notes not feel the wind in your hair and best done in a detached house without other family members around to complain when the furniture is rattling around! . Some sealed subs do go down low, but they tend to be quite large.

Saying that, the Gemini / SPC10 still produce very good bass which suits my music collection well ( of which 25% is ministry of sound) and I like nothing more than turning it right up and the sub does keep pace with the speakers, always sounding balanced and still goes lower than any floor standers with a really punchy bass line . I'd recommend demoing one before buying, unless you have the budget of course.
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Instead of the Wharf 220, consider the Wharfedale 225 for £249. A lower bass response than the 220 and more on par with the Kef's.

Diamond 225 | Wharfedale Hi-Fi

+1 for the Gemini. BK have an excellent rep for subs and i cannot think of any subs in their range that does not get recommended at any level. However, you could try with just the speakers first and then add the sub if still needed. I would also pay attention to positioning of the speakers as this helps with achieving good bass if you can locate them in a desired spot

I run a similar spec powered amp (see sig) with a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 10.2s in my dining room and Bass is a plenty. My tastes revolves around Soulful house, Garage, Old school jungle, reggae, jazz, Soul/funk and a few other genre but none of the rubbish that is saturating the airwaves by every popular radio station, so good bass is important to me. However, there are the odd times where it would be nice to have tone controls to 'touch' up the bass where some tracks/broadcasts are a bit lacking. I still don't feel the need for a sub
 
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samsungderby

Well-known Member
monitor audio bronze 1 typically £229
BK Gemini 2 £215 or if you can stretch the total budget a tad the amazing BK xls200 £315
 

damyan66

Novice Member
Instead of the Wharf 220, consider the Wharfedale 225 for £249. A lower bass response than the 220 and more on par with the Kef's.

Diamond 225 | Wharfedale Hi-Fi

+1 for the Gemini. BK have an excellent rep for subs and i cannot think of any subs in their range that does not get recommended at any level. However, you could try with just the speakers first and then add the sub if still needed. I would also pay attention to positioning of the speakers as this helps with achieving good bass if you can locate them in a desired spot

I run a similar spec powered amp (see sig) with a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 10.2s in my dining room and Bass is a plenty. My tastes revolves around Soulful house, Garage, Old school jungle, reggae, jazz, Soul/funk and a few other genre but none of the rubbish that is saturating the airwaves by every popular radio station, so good bass is important to me. However, there are the odd times where it would be nice to have tone controls to 'touch' up the bass where some tracks/broadcasts are a bit lacking. I still don't feel the need for a sub

I'm happy to hear the speakers deliver quite a bit of bass, but I'm almost sure that I want deeper and louder bass, which is why I want a separate sub woofer.

Does anyone know how much of an upgrade the sub from the Logitech Z2300 is to the BK Gemini or XLS200?

Thanks
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Does anyone know how much of an upgrade the sub from the Logitech Z2300 is to the BK Gemini or XLS200?

In Different leagues.

I know it's not the Same or on the same level as the z2300 but I have a Logitech x-230 2.1 which I use for the computer. And tbh it's not bad at all. Bass is deep but woolly and can get out of shape depending on what is being played.

The xls200 on the other hand is on point. Nice smooth and tight bass when where required and thunderous when needed.
Its been a while since I had it hook up for music as my fronts are capable of going pretty low so I now use mine mainly for films, but when i did, I can't say I werent smiling and nodding.

If you can afford to go for the xls200 over the Gemini, it be money well spent, but he tricky part is integrating it with the bookshelfs and getting that roll off point spot on. Easier said than done and and even more difficult if trying to do so by yourself.
Since the teac has a subwoofer output, It may not be such hard work but it does not hav bass management or I at least I believe it does not, so it still could be a bit of a graft
 

Demon

Active Member
From the conversation, I'd have to agree with the above, the Gemini is a bit better on paper than the Logitech (10" vs 8", 150W vs 120W and 30Hz vs 35Hz) but if you want that absolute next level, the XLS200 is definitely at the next level, or even the new P12-SB300 (reviewed well by avforums: BK Electronics P12-300SB Subwoofer Review)
 

samsungderby

Well-known Member
The xls is awesome you would have to spend way more money from any other manufacturer to get anything like the quality. It is a very musical sub with a tight punchy sound as long as you get the FF version.
I had the xls with a pair of bronze bx series and they were an excellent match, very well integrated. The new bronze series are quite an upgrade in quality from the bx series (and they were awesome)
 

GW43

Well-known Member
I had an XLS200 FF - great for the odd film, rubbish with music. Could never get it to integrate properly, so mid-range always sounded muddy and detail was masked by the sub.

That was with (originally £700 and latterly £1,800 standmounts, so there was to be fair probably a bit of a price mis-match.

For music I'd go with the best speakers you can afford, and ignore the sub. IMHO that is!

Sub now sold, and happy with just the speakers.
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
If you're looking at integrating a subwoofer with the pair of speakers, one thing to make sure your speakers drop the bass off naturally. If not you will never get a continues flow of sound through all the tonal ranges. this is one thing that many call the sub-sat-void. So ideally look for a package as the manufacturer will have do there best at that price point to reduce the void as much as it is possible. The Yamaha NX-B150 & Q Acoustics 7000i Black 2.1 are two different examples which combine the two together.

If you are going to create your own. there are a number of things you should look at.

Amp. Power output and pace with speakers. together in your room do they sound like they're falling away with the bass. Only way to find out is to try it with a bassy tune from London Grammar or James Blake.

If it sounds like the bass falls away with charging at the last point then you have the right solution to add a woofer. from this point can choose from many different sub's although I would look to one with a high level output. This means that you can truly integrate the woofer into your system. always use a manufacturer who just produces woofers for this as they tend to be a little better ad producing more responsive sounds for the same money. Its not that I'm against speaker manufacturers who produce woofer, however I would say the same if it was the other way round.

Once you have done this, you'll find out how good this kind of combination can sound and you can remove the sub-sat-void. But its not an easy route and one that will take a little time.

if your speakers do not drop of the bass naturally, you will be fighting a losing battle, or you'll have to set the woofer a little higher than you would like or experience the sub-sat-void.

Regards, Shane.
 

damyan66

Novice Member
Just an update!

I went to the Richer Sounds shop in Liverpool Street, today, to test out some speakers, and I was seriously impressed by the Monitor Audio Bronze 2! We demo'ed them side by side with the Wharfedale 220s.... and wow! What a difference! The MAs had the upper hand in pretty much everything, to my ears. The bass was superior and so was the clarity. It also felt that they created a wider, more surrounding sound. I don't know why everyone rates the 220s so highly :/. Anyway, we also demo'ed some Dali Zensor 1s and they were also more impressive than the Wharfedales and very comparable to the MA Bronze 2, but with a little less bass, and a little quieter, overall.

While I was there, the person in the shop also let me hear the Cambridge Audio Minx X301 subwoofer, and tbh, it sounded quite well with its dual 8 inch drivers.

I also just bought a nearly new XLS200-DF from eBay for £280, but was wondering how that compares to the Minx X301? Should I expect an even better sound when it arrives :D?

Cheers for all the help, everyone!
 

OnAMission

Novice Member
Ooooh, I would have to agree with you in terms of the 220's. They're possibly the most boring speakers I have ever heard. Idk what the reviewer who reviewed them was on at the time of testing but whatever it was it must have been pretty strong :) I'm guessing by now you have already bought the speakers but at the end of the day if you personally like the sound then those are the speakers that you will keep for the longest without feeling the need to upgrade :)
 

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