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Passive Bookshelf Speakers ~$3k (Desk)

concorde1

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I have a desk setup with my JBL Studio 530's stand mounted up at ear level a metre or two behind the desk.

I want to get passive bookshelf speakers that perform even better and get louder.

They can be power demanding (I've got a 300Wpc amplifier) but don't have to be.

They can be really big "bookshelf" speakers (even JBL 4429 big). As long as they can stand mount it is OK.

I won't be getting the speakers for a long time but I like to set a goal.

They will be used with 1 or 2 subs so they don't need to be full range.

Currently my list of options is:

• JBL 4722N / LSR6332 [I don't know if it's still possible to buy either of these]
• Philharmonic BMR Monitor [The shipping to my location may be very costly]
• Revel M106 / M126Be / Gem2 [Revel is available here; unsure of exact costs]
• Selah Audio Purezza / Tempesta MK2 [Selah Audio is closing sadly so these are probably not an option]

It would be helpful if people could enlighten me as to availability and feasibility of these speakers, address my concerns in [square brackets], as well as add to the list of options.

I'm not considering the Perlisten S4b because it's too expensive. I used to want a JBL Synthesis speaker (eg 4429) but I don't know which ones, if any, measure well. Sadly no Genelec or Neumann because I have an amplifier already. I don't know about the JBL 708i - it seems the 708p is more popular.

I must say the Selah Audio speakers look gorgeous and I wish they would still be available when I have the funds to purchase a pair of speakers.
 

dwkdnvr

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You should have the Kef R3 on your list. I used them as desktop speakers in our old house, and they excelled. The co-ax works very well in the nearfield. The LS50/LS50 meta may also be an option if you're using subs, but the R3 are able to stand alone in desktop use unless you're a complete bass-head.
They've been promoted up to use in the primary system in our new place, perched atop a pair of Rythmik subs, and they don't disappoint there either.
 

sweetchaos

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JBL 4722N
- no spinorama that I could find, still in production, would love to see measured first though. I wouldn't buy this without seeing any spinorama first.
JBL LSR6332
- website shows it's discontinued, good spinorama, worthwhile speaker if you can find it somewhere.
Philharmonic BMR
- Erin reviewed and recommended, ultra-wide horizontal directivity (if you like that), but bass output seems limited by about 2db below 300hz (don't know the reason?) UPDATE: Erin talked about this bass shelf in his youtube review.
Revel M106
- Amir reviewed, recommended
Revel M126Be
-Reviewed by Audioholics, recommended, less distortion & better finish & better preference score than M106
Revel Gem2
- No review by Amir or Erin, 3-way, US$7k/pair and IMO=overpriced, seems over your budget, spinorama available, no doubt recommended
Selah Audio Purezza
- Erin reviewed and recommended, but bass output seems limited by about 2db below 300hz (don't know the reason?) UPDATE: due to baffle step compensation (see Erin's review where he talked about it)
Selah Audio Tempesta MK2
- No spinorama that I could find, I wouldn't personally buy without seeing a spinorama
Perlisten S4b
- Reviewed by Erin and recommended, US$8k/pair, IMO=overpriced since there's better options for $

Suggested:
Kef R3
- reviewed by Amir, and Erin. recommended. exceptional horizontal and vertical directivity, plays louder and deeper than LS50 Meta.
Kef LS50 Meta:
- reviewed by Amir. recommended, exceptional horizontal and vertical directivity, limited in loudness and bass compared to R3

Others to consider:
Buchardt S400 MKII
- no spinorama, but Buchard S400 (original) was reviewed by Amir and it was a "questionable performer". I hope Buchardt improved on the design with MKII. But we need to see it measured on NFS to know for sure.
Arendal Sound 1723 Monitor THX
- measured by Audioholics, looks promising, shows good engineering, would like to see it tested on NFS for more precision in measurements

My picks:
My picks would be Kef R3 (if you want narrow horizontal dispersion, and amazing vertical dispersion) or Revel M106 or M126Be (if you want wider horizontal dispersion, less picky about vertical dispersion).
 
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concorde1

concorde1

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Great answers!

Unfortunately I find KEF speakers markedly unpleasant to look at.

BMR Philharmonitor has always looked promising but it has high distortion at around 3kHz. Perhaps the current BMR uses that new version of the RAAL ribbon tweeter which has lower distortion? I think it's the RAAL 64-10X tweeter.

The Revel M126Be is at the top of my list.

I appreciate that Arendal Sound recommendation. That is exactly the kind of size and power handling I am hoping for in the speakers I get. I notice Audioholics didn't measure the THD though.
 
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concorde1

concorde1

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Actually after reading a bit about the Arendal Sound 1723 Monitor THX . . . they're at the top of my list. I have my own stands I designed that will easily hold them up too.
 

jonfitch

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Gem2s are too big for for desk speakers--I've tried before. You don't really want to listen to a 3-way dome and cone speaker nearfield. Most of those are designed for acoustic summation to occur at around 3 meters or so, so I would probably cross off the Tempesta too. A coaxial speaker or a 2-way is the better bet that close. Currently using a Kef Reference 1 nearfield.
 
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concorde1

concorde1

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I can move the speakers about 3 metres away. My desk faces into the middle of a medium large room.

It is possibly an issue that while all the drivers on my speakers (stand mounted behind desk) are well above the desk height, the desk must affect the sound by reflections.
 
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If you don’t mind bringing the speakers really close a pair of Amphion One15s are great nearfields. Or the 3s/One18s if you want a bit more distance.
 

Webninja

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I would recommend using your amp elsewhere or selling. I recently got Neumann KH80s and the 750 sub with measurement mic. All under $3k, and although it’s not inexpensive, I am inclined to think these are end-game desktop speakers. They play louder than I can tolerate, and are so well integrated they play every type of music very accurately.

I’m sure an equivalent Genelec would be a similarly end-game desktop setup.
 

Chromatischism

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Others to consider:
Buchardt S400 MKII
- no spinorama, but Buchard S400 (original) was reviewed by Amir and it was a "questionable performer". I hope Buchardt improved on the design with MKII. But we need to see it measured on NFS to know for sure.
It was one of the best-measured speakers, and he even acknowledged that.

It just didn't pass Amir's subjective listen.

I own both the MKI and MKII and I bet the new version solves his issue with it. He is used to more "open-ness" in the 2 kHz range from his Revels and the new one has that.
 

Chromatischism

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Actually after reading a bit about the Arendal Sound 1723 Monitor THX . . . they're at the top of my list. I have my own stands I designed that will easily hold them up too.
The Arendals piqued my curiosity as soon as I saw them last year, as they went the big-waveguide route that worked extremely well on the Buchardts. The geometry is different but I am sure it helps their directivity nonetheless. Now we see Monoprice going the same route as well (I read they have the same designer as the Arendals).

If you want power, you should have it in their 8" version for sure.
 

sweetchaos

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It was one of the best-measured speakers, and he even acknowledged that.

It just didn't pass Amir's subjective listen.

I own both the MKI and MKII and I bet the new version solves his issue with it. He is used to more "open-ness" in the 2 kHz range from his Revels and the new one has that.
Thanks for your impressions. Any chance of sending MK2 to review?
 
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concorde1

concorde1

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Expanding my budget a bit (and the time before I attain the speakers), currently thinking:

Revel M126Be
Arendal Sound 1723 Monitor THX
March Audio Sointuva

Hopefully these will all be measured as the Revel and Arendal are missing THD measurements on Audioholics, and the March hasn't been measured yet to my knowledge.

One point is in the favour of Arendal - it would let me crank my amplifier if need be. I think the Revel and March won't handle anything like as much power as my amp can produce.

I like the idea of 8" or larger woofers on the bookshelf speakers, because they will get louder, and handle more power (a safety net for my powerful amp).

That's why I used to want JBL 4429's - but I don't know if they'd measure well.

Are there any other large woofer bookshelf speakers that are top tier?
 
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Chromatischism

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If you're looking in that $2500 range, my list is as follows:

Buchardt S400 MKII
Arendal 1723 Monitor
Selah Purezza (RIP)
PSB Synchrony B600
LXsirius

Up to $3k:
JBL 705P
Paradigm Founder 40B

Also, the Kali Audio IN-8v2.

Your OP says you listen "at a meter or two". Is it one meter or two? That makes a big difference with waveguided speakers. In fact, most of these I would not consider at 1 meter, some not even at 2. If you're really that close I would consider KEF LS50 Meta.
 
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concorde1

concorde1

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I just measured. 2 metres is my current listening distance.

Considering:

Revel M126Be
Arendal Sound 1723 Monitor THX
March Audio Sointuva
JTR Noesis 110HT

I've put passion into designing and building my amp so I'm not going to get a powered speaker.

Are there any other large woofer (8" or larger diameter) bookshelf speakers that are top tier?
 

sweetchaos

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concorde1

concorde1

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I have indeed seen it, it is great! But looking for those unusual 8" or larger diameter woofer bookshelf speakers. Or in other words, high power handling bookshelf speakers.

I notice on www.philharmonicaudio.com/Measurements-BMR.html that in the specifications, the tweeter is RAAL 64-10X OEM, like I was talking about. Perhaps this tweeter has sorted out the distortion issue in the BMR Erin tested?
 

Chromatischism

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I notice on www.philharmonicaudio.com/Measurements-BMR.html that in the specifications, the tweeter is RAAL 64-10X OEM, like I was talking about. Perhaps this tweeter has sorted out the distortion issue in the BMR Erin tested?
The tweeter has not changed. Also at 2 meters, you really don't need that much output. I think you are overestimating what you need, but that's MO.
 
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concorde1

concorde1

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New plan: After all these years of having a desk setup, I'm going to shift the speakers themselves in a "full room" setup, hence they can be bigger. Large bookshelf speakers and later adding 2 subs.

I'll keep headphones/amps etc on the desk but if I want to listen on speakers it will be for the room not my office chair.

I've finally decided that having a desk between me and the speakers is just never going to be great audio wise.

So my best choices might be:
Arendal Sound 1723 Monitor THX
JBL LSR6332
JBL 4722N
JTR Noesis 110HT
 
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