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which compact speaker (under 30 cm of height) is the best?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by arielshiran, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. arielshiran

    arielshiran
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    I was sure I'll buy a satellites set but than some people told me about Totem's speakers (Mite and Dreamcatcher) and now I have some more dillemas...
    I need to choose a 5.1 set upto ~ 1500 pounds (UK price) which will be used for both music and movies and will be hanged on walls (not on stands). I don't want speakers which will be more than 30 cm of height (and preferably less than that). If you have any other better options (better than the ones I'll mention here...) please let me know what they are. If not, let me know which one of these is the best I can choose and why.
    1) Totem Mite
    2) Totem Dreamcatcher
    3) M&K K5/K7
    4) Monitor Audio Radius 90
    5) Anthony Gallo A'diva
    6) Mordaunt Short Genie
    7) Tannoy Arena
    8) Castle Compact
    9) Morel SA-2
    The speakers will be pushed by a receiver like Denon 2105/Marantz 5500/Onkyo 602 and therefore should be well performing with such level of a receiver.
    Thanks guys,
    Ariel.
     
  2. arielshiran

    arielshiran
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    any advice?
     
  3. Matther54

    Matther54
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    Hey there.

    For 30 cm height restriction and £1500 you could get 'proper' bookshelf speakers. I'm no expert for HT but I'm guessing that something like Monitor Audio S1s would sound better for music than the equivalent Radius R90s (although the R90s are alot smaller).

    Also, why do you stipulate that they must be hung from the walls.. personally i think standmounted speakers look great.. plus you'd get better sound and remember you want to keep the tweeters at ear height so you wouldn't want to mount them too high.

    Anyway, apart from all this, there are quite a few threads around about various satellite speakers. Just scroll down to read peoples different opinions about them. People will be reluctant to say "model x is alot better than model y" due to the subjective nature of it all. Get out there and demo some stuff. If you find a good dealer they will lavish time on you and then you can make up your own mind about what is best for you.. The best way really!

    Good luck
     
  4. Matther54

    Matther54
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    arielshiran,

    just looked at some of you older posts and it seems like you've been asking the same question for a while. You also say that you have been out and listened to most of the models in your older short list. There must have been something that stood out to you as being what you really wanted?? If not, get out and have another listen. You've a big short list, try and narrow it down to 2 or 3 different sets otherwise you'll easily get confused about whats better. It seems like over time, your shortlist is growing!
     
  5. arielshiran

    arielshiran
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    The problem is that where I live (and it's outside the UK), all of these speakers are imported by different distibutors. Some of them sell their merchandise in much higher prices than in the UK/US and there is a real value for money problem here. The prices here are the same for a set of Gallo A'divas+a TR-2 sub, a set of M&K (4 K5s and a K7+KX10) while a set like the Genie cost here more money! The Morel Supra set which is not known in the UK but cost about 2400$ in the US, the Monitor Audio Radius (4X90, 1X180 and 1X360) are about 200$ cheaper than the Gallo/M&K and the Castle Compact costs also like the Genies. In these prices, I find it difficult to find the best value for money and this is what I am looking for as all of these sets sound good in my opinion but none of them was heard next to another because every store here works with different brands and it is impossible to demo these sets together. This is why I need your advice.
    Regarding the stands option, it is impossible as I don't have space for it.
     
  6. Matther54

    Matther54
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    Fair enough mate, I'm sorry. I didn't really understand your situation.

    Well, personally I can't really be anymore help with the Home cinema front. All my experience is with good old fashioned stereo I'm afraid. I tend to be of the opinion to make sure it sounds good with music and if it does then films will probably be great. This may or may not be true.. I'm hoping to get into the Home cinema thing in a couple of years time, but at the moment I don't have the money or space for it.

    I shouldn't worry too much whether you are getting good value for money. You can probably use the inet to check the price differentials between UK and Israel and see which makes are being hugely marked up and which aren't. If I was in your position I think I would do this and see which makes offer good value for money and which are obviously highly overpriced. That would narrow my shortlist down to 3 or 4 makes probably. Then I would extensivly demo these to find out which offered best sound.
    However, as you have pointed out, if you can't test them side by side it is very difficult to tell. But something may jump out at you as being your favorite. Then I'd just go for it. As long as you are happy with it I shouldn't worry a huge amount that there might be something out there which sounds better for not much price difference. What you don't know won't hurt you.

    Thats the attitude I took when buying my Hifi. And I'm still happy with it!
     
  7. oconnpad

    oconnpad
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    How about hanging around for the Canton CD310 that is supposed to be coming out soon, going by the other Canton CD range proformance it should definietly be on your list
     
  8. Upgrade King

    Upgrade King
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    If you can get hold of the Castle compacts "BUY EM" you will not regret it, these are seriously fine sounding speakers and very adept with 2 channel music as well as multichannel.
     
  9. aldavies

    aldavies
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    I have the totem dreamcatchers, but only two of them which are used for stereo music and my tv via my rotel RA02 amp. I chose these because they were highly recommended by my local hi fi shop and I was looking for a compact speaker. I have only had them a few months, but I have to say I am delighted with both their sound quality and looks.
     
  10. Ian J

    Ian J
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    To the three of us who heard the Rainmakers at the Bristol Show in 2004 these were the undisputed stars apart from the silly money stuff.
     
  11. arielshiran

    arielshiran
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    but as it seems now I have shortened my list to:
    1) M&K K5/K7 combination
    2) Castle Compact
    3) Mordaunt Short Genie
    4) Totem Dreamcatcher
    There are two more sets which I have not listened to but some sellers told me to look at as well and are: Ruark Mita and Energy Take (new Take Series).
    The issue with all of this research is to leave the classic satellite speakers (except the best of them) and try to focus and find the small bookshelf speakers which are much better! The M&Ks and the Castle are awsome and you pay for a quality of sound and not for design like Gallo's speakers. I hope I'll finish with this research soon...
    but I'll keep reading and your help is welcome.
    Thanks,
    Ariel.
     
  12. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    arielsharan

    Not sure I follow what you mean about the Gallo A' Divas - they follow a design ethos that's 15 years old and borne out of a quest to find the perfect loudspeaker, not satisfy interior designers :) (see http://www.roundsound.com/history.html)

    Compact Loudspeakers will tend to have a fuller sound than most satellites and most satellites sound poor when on Music Duty - especially so with a lot of mid range AV Receivers.

    In a suitable room I can happily use a pair of AG A' Diva as a Music loudspeaker - though I'd tend to partner them with a decent amplifier if you want to hear them working well for music.

    You do have to balance what your trying to achieve in a Multichannel speaker set up with your 'modest' plans for signal processing and amplification.

    I'd find a Front pair of speakers + Matching Centre + AV Receiver that I enjoy with music and then 'fill' in the surrounds with whatever's left in the budget.

    As Ian J says the Totem speakers do sound good though again they usually have some pretty decent source, processing and amplification to drive them; especially so if you want Music and Movies!

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  13. Sulis

    Sulis
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    Anyone know where the Dreamcatchers can be demo'd in the UK? Or anyone reputable online selling em?

    Edit: the couple of places I've found online in the UK are selling them for silly money! In the US a complete av system (4 speakers, one centre and one sub) is apparently $1700 (= ~£900), while just one pair seems to go for that here... :(
     
  14. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Hifibitz are selling them at £395 per pair
     
  15. Sulis

    Sulis
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    Bum. Confused them with the Rainmakers. However, when you add up the cost of 2 pairs of Dreamcatchers, the DC centre (£350) and sub (£500) you still get to £1,650. Compared to the same in dollars in the US.

    Now, when it was $1.40 to the £ you could just about let that go, but now it's $1.90 this is bonkers. Is this just greed? From what I could see on the Totem site they don't sell direct (unlike Orb Audio, say), so I have no idea if it's possible to import them. Shame, because they look as if they could be contenders.
     
  16. aldavies

    aldavies
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    I bought the dreamcatchers at a store called Audio Excellence in Swansea, Wales. I was able to demo them there. One pair in mahogany cost me £399. I think the black is the same, and the maple and cherry are a little more expensive. Let me know if you want more details.
     
  17. aldavies

    aldavies
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  18. yoskiwoski

    yoskiwoski
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