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Seeking small but splendid bookshelf speakers

humbert15

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Sep 14, 2012
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Hello - I'm after a pair of small bookshelf speakers for my office, which is about 230cm squared. I have a budget of around £500 and the speakers will have to sit on a shelf about a metre in front of me and can't be much taller than 30cm or deeper than about 25cm. They'll need to be happy close to a wall. Depending on how deep they are I might be able to give them 10-15cm but no more than that.

The music will come from either a Cyrus dAD1.5 CD player or FLACs from my Macbook Pro. If I'm honest there are quite a few 320k MP3s as well but I'm sure we don't like to talk about them on here (this is my first post - hello!) The amp is a Cyrus IIIi and I've just added a TEAC UD-HO1 DAC too, which I'm rather impressed with, I must say.

Earlier today I listened to a pair of Rega RS1s, which I liked a lot. No complaints at all really - perhaps lacking a tiny bit of sparkle? Hard to say since it wasn't my own music I was listening to. But I've also been reading a lot of very complimentary things about Totem Dreamcatchers and wondered if they might be worth finding the extra for and tracking down (I live in Brighton and I don't think anyone here sells them - happy to go to London to listen though). I'm currently using my old faithful B&W DM601s, but they're too big for this room and anyway I want something a bit more cultured. I listen to all sorts - mainly electronic, but classical, rock, indie and accoustic stuff too. I'll even stick some jazz on every once in a while.

Apart from the Regas and Totems, I wondered about the Dynaudio DM2/6, Leema Xero or even Tannoy Revolution DC4, which I overheard recently and was pretty impressed - would save me a few quid for cable etc.

I would love to just line up all the contendors and listen to them next to each other but no one seems to sell all of them. So which of these should I be focusing on? And which should I discard without further ado?

thanks.
 

omnibeard

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Dec 7, 2010
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If I was looking for tiny speakers, I would have to have a look at the Neat Iota - a bit above budget, but maybe you can stretch or find ex-demo?
 

Juzzie Wuzzie

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Sep 18, 2007
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+1 on the Iotas. I have them hard against a concrete wall, and they sound great. Hate to think how good they would be positioned properly, on stands, etc. I think 10% over budget if you buy online.
 

omnibeard

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Dec 7, 2010
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+1 on the +1

You can get B grade stock for £550 - I wouldn't hesitate at that!

http://www.creative-audio.co.uk/HD.php?_NEA_IOTA_ST_BGR_&CAT=STSPEAK&ID=5769&t=gs
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
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humbert15 said:
Earlier today I listened to a pair of Rega RS1s, which I liked a lot. No complaints at all really - perhaps lacking a tiny bit of sparkle? Hard to say since it wasn't my own music I was listening to.
The problem with people buying speakers that have 'sparkle' is the 50/50 chance they'll be back in 6 month's time posting about them being too 'bright' or 'harsh' or fatiguing.
 

drummerman

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Jan 18, 2008
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I like a bit of sparkle ...

Nothing wrong with talking about MP3 and lower bit rates either. I listen to spotify at mostly 320kbit/s a lot and am mostly a happy girl.

Chebby has a point too. Self effacing and neutral is usually a better long term recipe than something with character, look at me

regards
 

humbert15

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Sep 14, 2012
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OK thanks all, I'll track down some Iotas and will turn down my sparklelust as much as possible when I audition them. Funny how budgets creep up though isn't it?
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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altruistic.lemon said:
Try Spendor S3/5R or Harbeth P3ESR. Based on the legendary LS3/5a, and pedigrees don't come much better than that.
Sadly not for £500 or less (the OP's stated budget). Harbeth P3ESRs are £1500 and the Spendors £850.
 

Overdose

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Feb 8, 2008
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humbert15 said:
Hello - I'm after a pair of small bookshelf speakers for my office, which is about 230cm squared. I have a budget of around £500 and the speakers will have to sit on a shelf about a metre in front of me and can't be much taller than 30cm or deeper than about 25cm. They'll need to be happy close to a wall. Depending on how deep they are I might be able to give them 10-15cm but no more than that.
AVI Neutron 5 would possibly fit the bill, but you'd need to find a used pair. They do come up in mint condition from time to time though.
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2008
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omnibeard said:
Overdose said:
AVI Neutron 5 would possibly fit the bill, but you'd need to find a used pair. They do come up in mint condition from time to time though.
Pair on ebay now, well inside budget.
They do fit the bill. refined, if a bit bass-shy, but work very nicely on shelves with a bit of wall to bolster them. The ones on the 'bay at the moment are overpriced though - mine sold for about £240 if I remember, and that was before they were reduced to £300 new to clear out the last remaining stock.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Tannoy DC4 Revolutions. £350 new, or less. Right size dimensions (less than I think) and a sound that's way beyond their dimensions. Use mine daily and never fail to be impressed.
 

tino

Well-known member
Sep 29, 2011
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These always seem to get good write-ups and are in budget ... http://www.whathifi.com/review/triangle-color
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
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the record spot said:
Tannoy DC4 Revolutions. £350 new, or less. Right size dimensions (less than I think) and a sound that's way beyond their dimensions. Use mine daily and never fail to be impressed.
Agreed. Excellent little speakers (as are the Iotas).
 

gregvet

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Dec 24, 2008
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Leema Xero's if there are any left knocking around online. Sevenoaks were selling them for not very much not that long ago AFAIR.
 

humbert15

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Sep 14, 2012
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Thanks for all the replies. I'm definitely going to track down some Iotas to listen to first. It seems they'd be happy on the wall, which would work a treat in the room in question. If they blow me away I'll find the extra from somewhere. If they don't, it's back to the drawing board.

thanks again
 

bay24

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Aug 13, 2007
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John Duncan said:
omnibeard said:
Overdose said:
AVI Neutron 5 would possibly fit the bill, but you'd need to find a used pair. They do come up in mint condition from time to time though.
Pair on ebay now, well inside budget.
They do fit the bill. refined, if a bit bass-shy, but work very nicely on shelves with a bit of wall to bolster them. The ones on the 'bay at the moment are overpriced though - mine sold for about £240 if I remember, and that was before they were reduced to £300 new to clear out the last remaining stock.
Another vote for the Neutrons, you could get them for a steal ifyou are patient on ebay.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Alantiggger said:
Ah, two different speakers Mr. Tigger. The DC4 Signature has the bass port to the front, though it;s been out a while. The link you gave below is the DC4 (which to my mind is the better looking of the two), and the bass port is to the rear. That's a great price though and it's a cracker of a speaker too.
 

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