Forgive me AV Forum...I am about to sin!

KeefGG

Standard Member
Until a couple of week's ago we had a reasonable AV/HiFi set up:
Uniti 2 driving Totem Sttaf floorstanders which then connected upto a Yamaha RX V-773 to run the 5.1 surround system with a Totem Dreamcatcher centre, Cambridge Minx x200 sub and some old Tannoy SE rears all standing on a glass/spiked rack (Atacama I think). It was all a bit old but worked rather well together.

Then the room was re-modelled and, although aestheticallly lovely, it has presented some acoustics challenges, some driven by the wife's requests.

Firstly the rack had to go (too ugly) and then the AV amp is now too big to be on show. TBH not a big concern as she is more into film than me so we're probably going with a Sonos ARC teamed with their sub and Ones for rears.

Now the serious hifi business! We have reached an agreement that the Uniti 2 can stay (was possibly looking at replacing with an Atom) but she would really like me to change the Sttaf's for some bookshelves but not use stands! I know, right? To be fair, if I can't find a set up I like then she is happy for me to stick with the floorstanders.

Am I just kidding myself that I can find something comparable without spending silly money? So far my thoughts are a Rel T5x sub teamed with either:

Rubicon 2
Monitor Gold 100
Eclipse TD508
Kef LS50 Meta
Focal Aria 906

These will sit on the bottom shelf shown in the pic. This shelf is 400mm deep and about 460mm high. I'm also thinking about putting them on the ISO Acoustic stands.

I guess I'm looking for some re-assurance (or should I be banished from the HiFi kingdom?) and any advice on making the most of the arrangement.

Here's hoping.
IMG-20210713-WA0005.jpeg
 

3rdignis

Active Member
Comments on ls50 without stand


I often find doing nothing is the best solution.

Have you considered in wall speakers?
 
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KeefGG

Standard Member
Thank you @3rdignis , a helpful video. Even with ISO acoustic stands it sounds like these are not the way forward.

In walls would have to be set at the back of the shelf sections and I assumed that would be even worse.
 
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password1

Distinguished Member
Dali Rubicon LCR speakers are designed to be wall mounted and are easy to position as Dali recommend no toe in with all their speakers. They benefit from the hybrid tweeter module with rhe ribbon tweeters, not present on rhe Rubicon 2. They are expected to lack the deep bass but that should not be an issue if you intend to use a sub.

The tweeters are 90 degrees rotatable and you can even try placing them on your shelves sideways.
 
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Paul7777x

Member
Finding small enough speakers for shelf positioning is a tough task.

The Dali minuets would be a good place to start, as would, perhaps Spendors A1.

(Although the shelf looks too high to get the tweeter height correct).

As for the Rel T5X, it is way overpriced for an 8 inch sub.

A BK PB12 is a far better buy, as would be an SVS SB1000 Pro or SB2000 Pro, or their new SVS micro 3000, or the Arendel Sound 1961 1S.

All are considerably better value than the laughably overpriced Rel.
 
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Orobas

Well-known Member
Totally agreed with @Paul7777x with regards to the REL T5X .. yes it is a decent fast sound.. but its a mass produced chinese unit now.. (not like the old REL's of my Strata era which were still hand-made in the UK), and as such you now pay that premium just for the shiny shiny cabinet and driver...

Put your money to better use with a BK sub for sure .. and with what is left over.. you can embrace a much better part of speakers for a much more substantial left over budget.
 
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acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
ATC SCM11 are sealed, box, incredibly forgiving about placement and sound gorgeous. A friend has his on wedges on the floor, up against the wall and they still sound great.
 
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KeefGG

Standard Member
Dali Rubicon LCR speakers are designed to be wall mounted and are easy to position as Dali recommend no toe in with all their speakers. They benefit from the hybrid tweeter module with rhe ribbon tweeters, not present on rhe Rubicon 2. They are expected to lack the deep bass but that should not be an issue if you intend to use a sub.

The tweeters are 90 degrees rotatable and you can even try placing them on your shelves sideways.
I hadn't really considered the LCR as assumed they were mainly aimed at AV but will take a look. Cheers
 
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KeefGG

Standard Member
Thanks for the info on the sub @Paul7777x & @Orobas , I'm off to demo some stuff at RS as I have a pal who is a manager in one of there branches so I'll thow the SVS into the tests.

Although I get the point about the REL, it is always about how it sounds that counts and I get a reasonable discount from my mate so won't necessarily exclude them.
 
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Orobas

Well-known Member
Thanks for the info on the sub @Paul7777x & @Orobas , I'm off to demo some stuff at RS as I have a pal who is a manager in one of there branches so I'll thow the SVS into the tests.

Although I get the point about the REL, it is always about how it sounds that counts and I get a reasonable discount from my mate so won't necessarily exclude them.
Well... most of the BK subs can outperform their REL equivalent in their response without breaking into too much of a sweat. The only mull points on BK are... (A) you can only get them through BK.. they are not a retailer item.. BUT.. you do get a return to base option with the first 14 days for a full refund (see B.K. Electronics Homepage ) ... and (B) they dont have a remote control.

So.. a direct comparision as it were... to show you what you are getting for your money.
REL - mass produced in China and overly inflated prices
BK - Hand made in the UK (used to design and manufacture subs for REL in 1992 when REL were still made in Bridgend Wales... like my Strata 3 was) and sold at almost kit price....

REL T5x - 8" and 125W @ £649 goes down to just ... 32Hz at -6db (approx 38-40Hz full power)
size 300 x 307 x 313mm and 14.3kg

BK's P12-300SB-DF - 12" amd 300W @ £410 - £506 depending in finish. Drops to 17Hz at -3db (optimal conditions.. real world.. looking 25-30Hz full power)
size 400 x 460 x 400mm and 27.7kg

Closest size for size and spec....
The Cheap....
BK's Gemini 2 - 10" and 150W @ £250 - £275 depending on finish. Flat lines at 40Hz full power
size 315 x 355 x 290mm and 13.4kg
The standard
BK's XLS200 MK2 - 10" and 275W @ £355 - £390 depending on finish. Drops to 17hz at -6db (approx 24-27Hz full power)
size 390 x 298 x 298mm and 17.5kg
 
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dogfonos

Well-known Member
Am I just kidding myself that I can find something comparable without spending silly money?

I don't think so. Whilst I've never heard the Totem Sttaf speakers, I have read a couple of reviews and suspect equivalent (and possibly better) audio quality is currently available for under £2k. Problem is, as you appreciate, the new speaker may not sound its best on a shelf in an alcove. Most of us have to accept compromises when it comes to positioning our music playback gear - even your Totem speakers look a little hemmed in so maybe they don't sound at their best in that position either?

Some speakers are likely to be more forgiving regarding placement than others. The main problem with shelf-mounting is reflections from nearby surfaces and structural resonances. Often, shelf mounting, usually close to the rear wall, tends to emphasize certain bass frequencies leading to an uneven and sometimes bloated bass sound. Higher up the frequency range, reflections from nearby surfaces can harm stereo imagery and the sense of recorded acoustic or feeling of space. The degree to which you may suffer these potential sound issues is anybodies guess.

As has already been said, the smaller the shelf-mounted speaker the better but there's a limit. Even used with a sub, very small speakers may not have sufficient bass extension to meet up with the top end of the subwoofer's range, leaving a bit of a dip in the systems mid/upper bass frequency response, especially at higher volumes. For that reason, main speakers with a 5"/130mm bass/mid driver would work best, IMO. And, for shelf-mounting, I would avoid rear ported speakers too. In fact, a sealed box speaker would likely be the best option for the proposed position.

One point about the Totem speakers: from what I've read they have quite a laid back sound with a warm tonal balance. Most, if not all, of the standmount speakers you name in post#1 do not have similar sound quality - they are, by all accounts, more forward sounding/lively/brighter - quite the opposite of your current sound. Perhaps you wanted a change? If you wished to retain the less forward sound of the Totems, then a speaker like the ATC SCM7, or the SCM11 suggested by acgingersnaps in post#7, should be considered. These are sealed box designs, which should help reduce any bass problems due to non-ideal positioning, but they are inefficient so won't play particularly loud driven by the Naim Uniti 2. 75W RMS is decent power for a lot of speakers but many ATC designs state 75W as a minimum.

I agree with Paul7777x and Orobas about overpriced REL subs.
 
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Baron Mole

Active Member
I read a comment by a distinguished member (can't remember the thread) that to get decent imaging there had to be a line of sight between the fronts of the two speakers. Bookshelf mounting would put the chimney breast in the way.
I often find doing nothing is the best solution.
;)
 
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password1

Distinguished Member
I hadn't really considered the LCR as assumed they were mainly aimed at AV but will take a look. Cheers
Rubicon LCR is the cheapest way to experience Rubicon hybrid tweeter technology,
You should be able to get a pair for less than the price of the Rubicon 2 (£1400+ vs £1600+) alternatively, the Opticon LCR mark 2, the poor man's Rubicon, also feature hybrid tweeter modules.

You didn't say what whether the system is for mainly movies or music or both in equal proportion...

If it's mainly for music, my choice would be a pair of Rubicon LCRs (£710 each) and a Rel T5i or two (reduced from £549 to £399) and come in the lovely gloss finish which is normally an extra cost finish for most other subs. That said, I doubt it would disappoint for movies.

If it's for movies, I would go for a BK platinum or svs 1000pro if you have the space as they are a lot larger in all dimensions than the Rel.
 
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KeefGG

Standard Member
I don't think so. Whilst I've never heard the Totem Sttaf speakers, I have read a couple of reviews and suspect equivalent (and possibly better) audio quality is currently available for under £2k. Problem is, as you appreciate, the new speaker may not sound its best on a shelf in an alcove. Most of us have to accept compromises when it comes to positioning our music playback gear - even your Totem speakers look a little hemmed in so maybe they don't sound at their best in that position either?

Some speakers are likely to be more forgiving regarding placement than others. The main problem with shelf-mounting is reflections from nearby surfaces and structural resonances. Often, shelf mounting, usually close to the rear wall, tends to emphasize certain bass frequencies leading to an uneven and sometimes bloated bass sound. Higher up the frequency range, reflections from nearby surfaces can harm stereo imagery and the sense of recorded acoustic or feeling of space. The degree to which you may suffer these potential sound issues is anybodies guess.

As has already been said, the smaller the shelf-mounted speaker the better but there's a limit. Even used with a sub, very small speakers may not have sufficient bass extension to meet up with the top end of the subwoofer's range, leaving a bit of a dip in the systems mid/upper bass frequency response, especially at higher volumes. For that reason, main speakers with a 5"/130mm bass/mid driver would work best, IMO. And, for shelf-mounting, I would avoid rear ported speakers too. In fact, a sealed box speaker would likely be the best option for the proposed position.

One point about the Totem speakers: from what I've read they have quite a laid back sound with a warm tonal balance. Most, if not all, of the standmount speakers you name in post#1 do not have similar sound quality - they are, by all accounts, more forward sounding/lively/brighter - quite the opposite of your current sound. Perhaps you wanted a change? If you wished to retain the less forward sound of the Totems, then a speaker like the ATC SCM7, or the SCM11 suggested by acgingersnaps in post#7, should be considered. These are sealed box designs, which should help reduce any bass problems due to non-ideal positioning, but they are inefficient so won't play particularly loud driven by the Naim Uniti 2. 75W RMS is decent power for a lot of speakers but many ATC designs state 75W as a minimum.

I agree with Paul7777x and Orobas about overpriced REL subs.
Thank you for the reassurance and I'm hoping that with advances technology there will be a speaker/sub combo that delivers comparable sound quality.
By sound quality I mean a sound that gets my feet tapping and raises the occasional goose bump. Therefore, I'm prepared that the type of sound from the speakers I've pick may be different from the Totem's which, although quite detailled, do have a relaxed sound.

Thanks also for the detailled response, particuarly around the size of the speaker.

Regarding the sub, size is going to play a part here and although I'm sure the BK's are great, I want to test the combination together before deciding and that seems a lot of effort/time to arrange.

If I'm able to get the good discount my mate normally arranged then maybe the REL is no longer 'over priced'.
 
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KeefGG

Standard Member
Rubicon LCR is the cheapest way to experience Rubicon hybrid tweeter technology,
You should be able to get a pair for less than the price of the Rubicon 2 (£1400+ vs £1600+) alternatively, the Opticon LCR mark 2, the poor man's Rubicon, also feature hybrid tweeter modules.

You didn't say what whether the system is for mainly movies or music or both in equal proportion...

If it's mainly for music, my choice would be a pair of Rubicon LCRs (£710 each) and a Rel T5i or two (reduced from £549 to £399) and come in the lovely gloss finish which is normally an extra cost finish for most other subs. That said, I doubt it would disappoint for movies.

If it's for movies, I would go for a BK platinum or svs 1000pro if you have the space as they are a lot larger in all dimensions than the Rel.
This would be only for music as we're going down the soundbar/sub/rear speaker route for movies (probably the Sonos Arc combo).

My only concern around the LCR would be depth of sound and poss loss of mid-range as per @dogfonos comment.

As always it will come down to how it sounds to me I guess.
 
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KeefGG

Standard Member
I read a comment by a distinguished member (can't remember the thread) that to get decent imaging there had to be a line of sight between the fronts of the two speakers. Bookshelf mounting would put the chimney breast in the way.

;)
Uh oh, a new angle to consider! o_O
 
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Baron Mole

Active Member
Uh oh, a new angle to consider!
Sorry !

I can't say I have any personal experience of this to be able to tell if the comment has any validity - it's possible even distinguished members might accidently BS :D but you're spending a lot of ££ and buyer's remorse is awful.

Hopefully the other members on this thread can advise if it's real and how much of an impact it has.
 
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KeefGG

Standard Member
Sorry !

I can't say I have any personal experience of this to be able to tell if the comment has any validity - it's possible even distinguished members might accidently BS :D but you're spending a lot of ££ and buyer's remorse is awful.

Hopefully the other members on this thread can advise if it's real and how much of an impact it has.
No worries, the idea of posting on here was to inform my decision process. :smashin:
 
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3rdignis

Active Member
I use an acoustic absorber panel in front of my tv/between speakers when listening to music.

I hear an improvement but it's mild. Everything in a room effects acoustics.
 
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Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
I wonder if elegance could provide a remedy for combining aesthetics and acoustics? My wife approved the Martin Logan Spires (see sig), the optical transparency of the panels making it much easier to blend in than the wooden box in your photo. Something like MartinLogan | Classic ESL 9
 
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dogfonos

Well-known Member
to get decent imaging there had to be a line of sight between the fronts of the two speakers

Uh oh, a new angle to consider!

I use an acoustic absorber panel in front of my tv/between speakers when listening to music.

In general, I think a clear line of sight between the fronts of the stereo speakers is a good thing - but why?

I have a suspicion that the issue here isn't that the speakers benefit from a clear line-of-sight. I think it may be more about reflections from nearby surfaces.

If the two speakers can't 'see' each other, it usually means there's an obstruction close to one or both speakers and, in a domestic setting, that's often a reflective surface, typically an alcove - but not always, could be soft furnishings.

Wish I could find the article where, as an experiment, someone deliberately placed a thick absorber (might have been a mattress?) between the stereo speakers. The mattress (or whatever) was positioned so that it's length went some way towards the listener. The idea being that the sound coming from each speakers remained separate from the other speaker until it arrived at the listener's ears. In other words, a headphone-like listening experience. Allegedly, the experiment was enlightening.
 
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Baron Mole

Active Member
I have a suspicion that the issue here isn't that the speakers benefit from a clear line-of-sight. I think it may be more about reflections from nearby surfaces.
FWIW That was exactly my thought plus the obstruction will alter/restrict the dispersion pattern of the speakers. But how much or important this is is anyone's guess and I'm too lazy to perform an experiment to find out :D
 
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KeefGG

Standard Member
I wonder if elegance could provide a remedy for combining aesthetics and acoustics? My wife approved the Martin Logan Spires (see sig), the optical transparency of the panels making it much easier to blend in than the wooden box in your photo. Something like MartinLogan | Classic ESL 9
I reckon they could as they are beautiful looking speakers, however it's more about getting something off the floor and also a little out of my price bracket.
 
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KeefGG

Standard Member
FWIW That was exactly my thought plus the obstruction will alter/restrict the dispersion pattern of the speakers. But how much or important this is is anyone's guess and I'm too lazy to perform an experiment to find out :D
I'm thinking that as the speakers will be at the edge of the shelf level with the chimney breast then the impact will be minimal?
 
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