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Passive Speaker Recommendations for USA (by @sweetchaos)

Laserjock

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No one has heard them yet, so it’s hard to definitely say.

That said…Their spin looks great, but so does Kef R3.
The advantage of R3 is their better vertical directivity control.
We’ll need to see Ascend speaker tested by Amir or Erin to make a final recommendation.

Right now, Ascend Acoustics Sierra LX looks very promising.
Any reason to get the $250 x 2 speaker Klippel scans?
 

Sancus

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Any reason to get the $250 x 2 speaker Klippel scans?
It allows you to perfectly EQ your units without any concern about unit to unit variation, which is always a potential problem with Erin/Amir's data.

Is that worth $500 on $1500 speakers that already have pretty good on-axis? No, but it's a cool value add for nerds basically. Also, it does provide some very precise QC so you can be extra sure your units are perfect, I suppose.
 
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sweetchaos

sweetchaos

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WHAT IF YOU WANT TO USE A BOOKSHELF SPEAKER (rotated 90 degrees) AS THE CENTER CHANNEL?

Bookshelf speaker (when turned sideways) that can be used as center-channel speaker:

RecommendationPSLFX
#1KEF Reference 1 Meta [US$9000/pair]6.632
#2Kef R3 (Amir) (Erin) [US$1700/pair]6.535
#3Kef Q350 (Amir) [US$500/pair]5.738
WorthyKef LS50 Meta (Amir) [US$1600/pair]5.743
WorthyKef Q150 (Erin) [US$300/pair]4.845
Yes, these are all coaxial speakers, which have great horizontal, and vertical directivity. This makes them ideal to be used as a center channel.
Obviously, you need to buy a pair and sell one.
 
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Laserjock

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WHAT IF YOU WANT TO USE A BOOKSHELF SPEAKER AS A CENTER CHANNEL?

Bookshelf speaker (when turned sideways) that can be used as center-channel speaker:

RecommendationPSLFX
#1KEF Reference 1 Meta [US$9000/pair]6.632
#2Kef R3 (Amir) (Erin) [US$1700/pair]6.535
#3Kef Q350 (Amir) [US$500/pair]5.738
WorthyKef LS50 Meta (Amir) [US$1600/pair]5.743
WorthyKef Q150 (Erin) [US$300/pair]4.845
Yes, these are all coaxial speakers, which have great horizontal, and vertical directivity. This makes them ideal to be used as a center channel.
Obviously, you need to buy a pair and sell one.
Would they score the same rotated as a center?
 
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sweetchaos

sweetchaos

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Would they score the same rotated as a center?
In the case of Kef Q350, the difference between horizontal and vertical orientation is almost non-existent, as shown by this animation between horizontal and vertical orientation.
both.gif

Also, the preference score stays the same, regardless of orientation.

Same effect is visible by looking at Kef LS50, although the horizontal orientation increases the preference score by 0.1 in that case, over the vertical orientation...which is negligible overall.
 

Sancus

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Not to be rude but you did put it at #1 when you have not heard it in person...
Not to be rude, but why do you think hearing speakers is relevant to this thread? The OP very clearly states that it's based on measurements/preference scores. It's obviously a data compilation project, not a source of subjective reviews.
 
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sweetchaos

sweetchaos

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My legend explains it:

LEGEND:
ValueDescription
#1Best rated-speaker in terms of preference score.
#22nd best-rated speaker in terms of preference score.
#33rd best-rated speaker in terms of preference score.
WorthyWorthy picks that either Erin or Amir measured and recommended. Plus a few models that weren't measured but still for consideration, since we can predict will be good, based on similar model's measurements.
 
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In terms of preference, he is the most popular speaker. In terms of preference, he is the second most popular speaker.
The 3rd most popular speaker in terms of choice.

Both Erin and Amir found these items to be worthy of their recommendation. In addition, there are a few models that were not tested but are still being considered since related models' measurements indicate they would be excellent.

PS Personality Score (with no subwoofer added). If you're looking for a negative value, you're looking for a poorly built speaker (theoretical limit). The higher you go, the better.

A Low-Frequency Extension (LFX) (in Hz). This is the output of the bass at a dB level of -6dB. This was a calculated result, not an opinion. The lower the number is, the better.
 

kenimaru

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A Low-Frequency Extension (LFX) (in Hz). This is the output of the bass at a dB level of -6dB. This was a calculated result, not an opinion. The lower the number is, the better.

Say for the KEF R3, the company's spec calls for 35Hz at -6dB, but if I look at Erin's spin, that data point is actually at 38-39Hz (87dB -6 = 81dB), but then again the actual measured SPL from Erin might not be 87dB from the spec, and there are other speakers that the results from the spin and the specs are just...different, and maybe I'm looking at this too closely and that really isn't the point.
 

amper42

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WHAT IF YOU WANT TO USE A BOOKSHELF SPEAKER AS A CENTER CHANNEL?

Bookshelf speaker (when turned sideways) that can be used as center-channel speaker:

RecommendationPSLFX
#1KEF Reference 1 Meta [US$9000/pair]6.632
#2Kef R3 (Amir) (Erin) [US$1700/pair]6.535
#3Kef Q350 (Amir) [US$500/pair]5.738
WorthyKef LS50 Meta (Amir) [US$1600/pair]5.743
WorthyKef Q150 (Erin) [US$300/pair]4.845
Yes, these are all coaxial speakers, which have great horizontal, and vertical directivity. This makes them ideal to be used as a center channel.
Obviously, you need to buy a pair and sell one.

I prefer the BMR Monitor over any of the bookshelf speaker models listed above. For price vs performance it's easily my 1st choice.
BMR-smaller.jpg
 
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sweetchaos

sweetchaos

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I prefer the BMR Monitor over any of the bookshelf speaker models listed above. For price vs performance it's easily my 1st choice.
View attachment 196909
You probably meant “positioning the BMR upright (vertically) in the center channel position”. Well, yeah, most upright bookshelves will work as centers.

But I was listing bookshelf speakers that need to be rotated 90 degrees to lay like a center channel would be. Which means coaxial speakers will work the best.
 

abdo123

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By the way the Revel M16 scores 6.0 with the port closed.

Maybe it should be moved out of the worthy title and into a regular title with a note at the end?
 

kenimaru

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The problem is that the coaxial design of the kef can be used horizontally and It is a big perk
Not an issue for stereo music though, and KEF does make center channel speakers as well.
 
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amper42

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You probably meant “positioning the BMR upright (vertically) in the center channel position”. Well, yeah, most upright bookshelves will work as centers.

But I was listing bookshelf speakers that need to be rotated 90 degrees to lay like a center channel would be. Which means coaxial speakers will work the best.

You can rotate the BMR Monitor RAAL Tweeter 90 degrees should you require the speaker be on it's side. But it's not that big of a speaker that vertical orientation is an issue in most installs. I also find the Monolith THX-365C does a great job as a center channel at a superb price.
 

warthor

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WHAT IF YOU WANT TO USE A BOOKSHELF SPEAKER (rotated 90 degrees) AS THE CENTER CHANNEL?

Bookshelf speaker (when turned sideways) that can be used as center-channel speaker:

RecommendationPSLFX
#1KEF Reference 1 Meta [US$9000/pair]6.632
#2Kef R3 (Amir) (Erin) [US$1700/pair]6.535
#3Kef Q350 (Amir) [US$500/pair]5.738
WorthyKef LS50 Meta (Amir) [US$1600/pair]5.743
WorthyKef Q150 (Erin) [US$300/pair]4.845
Yes, these are all coaxial speakers, which have great horizontal, and vertical directivity. This makes them ideal to be used as a center channel.
Obviously, you need to buy a pair and sell one.
Thanks for doing this @sweetchaos

I have been thinking about this option quite a bit because these options are cheaper than similarly-scoring center speakers (even when you consider having to buy two speakers), therefore this seems to represent the best value option for people on a budget.

It is a bummer that having one extra bookshelf speaker is pretty useless, though.

Is the New Sierra LX model not present here because of the vertical directivity issues?
 

Ml2316

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Improvements:

WHAT IF YOU WANT TO USE A BOOKSHELF SPEAKER (rotated 90 degrees) AS THE CENTER CHANNEL?

Bookshelf speaker (when turned sideways) that can be used as center-channel speaker:

RecommendationPSLFX
#1KEF Reference 1 Meta [US$9000/pair]6.632
#2Kef R3 (Amir) (Erin) [US$1700/pair]6.535
#3Kef Q350 (Amir) [US$500/pair]5.738
WorthyKef LS50 Meta (Amir) [US$1600/pair]5.743
WorthyKef Q150 (Erin) [US$300/pair]4.845
Yes, these are all coaxial speakers, which have great horizontal, and vertical directivity. This makes them ideal to be used as a center channel.
Obviously, you need to buy a pair and sell one.
What is the advantage of rotating the kefs? Just aesthetics?
 

warthor

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What is the advantage of rotating the kefs? Just aesthetics?
The main advantage is simply in regard to space and design. If you use a media console you are limited in terms of space, especially if you are placing your TV at recommended height. In other words, it is difficult to place an upright bookshelf speaker upright under the TV.

Edit: I am not sure a bookshelf speaker rotated horizontally looks great because it some cases it is asymmetrical (e.g., KEF R3).
 

Ml2316

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The main advantage is simply in regard to space and design. If you use a media console you are limited in terms of space, especially if you are placing your TV at recommended height. In other words, it is difficult to place an upright bookshelf speaker upright under the TV.

Edit: I am not sure a bookshelf speaker rotated horizontally looks great because it some cases it is asymmetrical (e.g., KEF R3).
Furniture compatibility. Right, didn't think of that.
 
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