Bookshelf speakers for Arcam A85

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Charlie04

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Nov 2, 2019
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Hi. I have a pair of Castle Knight 1’s powered by a A65+ and they sound really good. Amazing soundstage and good enough bass.
 

scene

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Sep 25, 2008
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Thanks for those links 👍
Now I'm sure the QX2 is a step up over the Q3020i, so I'll need to think about things...
- I live near enough to collect the new ones listed, the 2nd hand ones I'd have to get delivered so could be £310 - which probably isn't worth it compared to new ones.

My shortlist looks like this:
Q-Acoustics Q3020i @£179 (open box)
Q-Acoustics Q3020i @£219 (new)
Mission QX-2 @325 (new)
Kef Q100 @£150-£200 (2nd hand)
Kef Q150 @£399 (new) [tbh, this is beyond my budget, keeping it on in case I find a deal]

Others on the long list if something turns up:
Totem Dreamcatchers
PMC DB1
B&W 686 S2
B&W 685 S2 [@34.5cm high, think it's too big if I'm honest]

Size matters. I realise smaller speakers means less bass, and that's one of my issues with the AEs - but I don't want huge speakers on the shelves. I'm thinking a 30cm limit for height (give or take)
- this rules out my original thought of the MA bronze 2 straight off, and the 685s and the 686s are pushing it a bit.
- the QX-2 is borderline (and I'll be honest, it's still a little over budget)
- the Kef Q150s sneak over the line (just about it)
 
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scene

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Sep 25, 2008
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Hi. I have a pair of Castle Knight 1’s powered by a A65+ and they sound really good. Amazing soundstage and good enough bass.
Thanks for that recommendation.

I do remember looking at Castles a while back (when I bought the AEs) and reading that they didn't like being placed near rear or side walls, so I'm not sure how much they'd like being in the Billy.
 

Tonestar1

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Nov 4, 2008
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What about a Neat iotas? You wold need to find a pair 2nd hand but they've been specifically designed for shelves so sound shouldn't be compromised. As an aside there a set of motive 3 on the bay just now for BIN £300 you should get then for an offer of £280 and they are a step up in class from most of the others you are thinking about. Dunno how they would sound in your situation though.
 
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scene

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Sep 25, 2008
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What about a Neat iotas? You wold need to find a pair 2nd hand but they've been specifically designed for shelves so sound shouldn't be compromised. As an aside there a set of motive 3 on the bay just now for BIN £300 you should get then for an offer of £280 and they are a step up in class from most of the others you are thinking about. Dunno how they would sound in your situation though.
Regarding the motive 3, think they break my size limit, just a bit, and not sure, like you, how they'd sound on the shelves. Agree they're a step up,

The Iotas are another matter... They are very tempting in terms of size and ability, going to add them to the list. Only downside is the price, and haven't seen any secondhand...
 
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scene

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I have just gotten a pair of very small definitive technology demand d7

Despite there size the bass is big, they kick the crap out of my diamond 225
They get great reviews, and fit the bill size wise...
Just a bit outside budget - the cheapest seems to be the pair Currys are selling on eBay @25% off - so £399 - which is more than I can afford at the moment.
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
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Denmark, i had to wait for next month if i wanted a pair of wharfedale evo 4.1, what can i else get, tannoy revolution xt mini was alot cheaper, and had single point source like kef q and ls50. Sound comming from the same point, time alignement and other advantage having sound comming from the same point.

88 db 3 db higher than the d7 (85db) not a problem i can still play loud enough with my modest amp and it still sounds good.

Asked about the bass and the d7 has a more full bodied sound, not that 0.5" should make a huge difference.(i think it does)

Do you have a b-stock in white, yes we have, i asked again just about when they came and collected the hifi for delivery to customers and he had printed a label for shipping,delivery, i only knew they hade a b stock d7 in black and d11 in white, think he had alot to ship since there was antoher 8 customers he had to answer, make shure they got what they wanted.

Live chat we don't have a white pair so i wil sent you a new pair, is that okay, as long as they sound good, that's what matters, they do sound really good.

The bass is surprisingly good, deep and punchy it almost breaks the laws of phyiscs, that good is it, my amp also enhances the bass a little, it's not neutral (amp).

Got them today and i was a little afraid they would be thin and bright sounding

The highs and also the lows from my amp is a bit forward so the sound would have a bit of a v shape, the highs sound good not to much as some Dali, B&W and other speakers can have, much bigger soundstage than the size would indicate, the bass , i can't belive how much bass i can get from such a small speaker edm is no problem, is loud any problem, no, even with edm (not those horrible bass bosted songs) is no problem playing loud with my amp (pc, nearfield)

2x30 watt in 8 ohm they are rated at 85db 8ohm and 20-125watt and just under 70hz -3db

Just don't expect hard style edm with 2x50 watt and up, with most small speaker don't use a to bright sounding system, floorstand speakers can more easily with there bigger bass handle a little brightness form a system than the same speaker in the bookshelf version.
 
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scene

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Sep 25, 2008
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Denmark, i had to wait for next month if i wanted a pair of wharfedale evo 4.1, what can i else get, tannoy revolution xt mini was alot cheaper, and had single point source like kef q and ls50. Sound comming from the same point, time alignement and other advantage having sound comming from the same point.

...
Oh well - here the cheapest I can get is the £399 (new) and I could game that to get £20 off that price - but it's still outside budget, which is a shame.

Must not be tempted to ignore the budget...
 

amormusic

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2016
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I've only skimmed this but comments as follows:

B&W's or the DB1's is a great match. You can pick up DB1+'s inside budget regularly on ebay. For bass and sound per pound these would be hard to beat.

If you really are putting them onto shelves make sure you buy some Auralex Mopads or similar as this will make a huge difference to sound quality. Cannot stress how effective an upgrade this is (I speak from experience having had my old PMC's on custom shelves in my old flat on top of Mopads).
 

scene

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Sep 25, 2008
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I've only skimmed this but comments as follows:

B&W's or the DB1's is a great match. You can pick up DB1+'s inside budget regularly on ebay. For bass and sound per pound these would be hard to beat.

If you really are putting them onto shelves make sure you buy some Auralex Mopads or similar as this will make a huge difference to sound quality. Cannot stress how effective an upgrade this is (I speak from experience having had my old PMC's on custom shelves in my old flat on top of Mopads).
Yes, I think the DB1s would be a great match, but I've read a number of reviews that day to avoid putting them near the wall (because of the transmission line slot).

Then there's waiting for one to be listed...

Agree the mopads are probably a good idea, especially as the Billy shelves provide no isolation and are made of veneered chipboard...
 

amormusic

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2016
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I wouldn't worry too much about that. I had mine close to walls and was fine. Alternatively you could look for a set of the slightly larger 21's which are front ATL ported, however you'll struggle to get them in budget.

Additionally, PMC also make a dedicated brackets to mount DB1s to walls which they wouldn't do if it sounded poo.
 
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scene

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Sep 25, 2008
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I wouldn't worry too much about that. I had mine close to walls and was fine. Alternatively you could look for a set of the slightly larger 21's which are front ATL ported, however you'll struggle to get them in budget.

Additionally, PMC also make a dedicated brackets to mount DB1s to walls which they wouldn't do if it sounded poo.
That's a very good point
 

scene

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Sep 25, 2008
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Update: I've decided to go for the Q Acoustics 3020i - they've come down to £189 - which frankly was an offer I couldn't refuse... Just ordered a pair in walnut from RS.
Can't wait.
(Which means there'll now be a pair of bargain PMC DB1s on eBay...)
 

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