Who is happy with just 'bookshelf' loudspeakers?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by felix.scerri, Jan 25, 2014.

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  1. RobHolt

    RobHolt Forum Resident

    London UK
    Deep bass extending to 40hz and below is certainly possible from small stand mounts - you just can't have low bass and loud at the same time.
    There is also however some performance hit on the midrange in a small 2-way as the bass/mid doesn't make a very good mid driver while doing impressions of a rubber sink plunger - horrid intermod distortion.

    Therefore small loudspeakers with decent bass extension (perhaps that should be quietspeakers) are fine at lowish SPLs in small rooms.
    A small 3-way is likely a much better way to go from a performance POV. Quite rare these days but at one time chunky bookshelf models with 8" bass, mid and tweeter were a common finding in a manufacturer's range. But then back in the day an 8" bass driver was considered normal, or even small!
  2. bluesky

    bluesky Senior Member

    south florida, usa
    I absolutely love my 1970 Sansui AS-100 (acoustic suspension) speakers with AlNiCo magnets.

    Advertised in 1970 as 'bookshelf' speakers. But the are 23 inches high and box type. Fabulous sound with 10 inch woofer and super sensitive 'amazing' adjustable tweet. Only 1 cap for a crossover. The base sounds fine. Just Perfect. Plenty enough base for sure. Don't really want any more. Sound fine. Real and natural.

    They do have the 'big box' sound. Really nice!! Like ARs or KLHs, same exact basic build, maybe even copied by Sansui at the time. They only made them for 2 years: 1970-1972. Everyone wanted ported speakers for the rock & roll sound of the 70s so Sansui quit making them and went all ported.

    Definitely 'sleepers' that no one even knows about. Or even knows that they even exist! WAY Under the radar.

    Got them in the GW, in minty shape, for $9.98. :) Normally you can get a used pair, when found, for $65-$70 plus shipping, which is $60 because they are 'heavy' speakers!! I did buy one speaker cab on ebay for just spare parts if ever required ($30 + $30 shipping). They sound That Good!!

    Great old school sound, no sub woofer required. The AS-100s to all the work. Cool. And the cloth grills are simply 1970 outrageous, if you into that style. Very 3D when you look at them up close.

    Sounds great!! :) You know... "They sure don't make them like that anymore!" kind of sound. And they do like power too. Not blasting, wouldn't do that, they are 1970, but they do crank loud if you want them to. And with the heavy cabinets, no problem.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
  3. WapatoWolf

    WapatoWolf Forum Resident

    somewhat related question: i have paradigm studio 20, v. 3. thinking of upgrading (someday) to the signature series. do you think there is a big difference? thanks
  4. conjotter

    conjotter Forum Resident


    I upgraded to the Signatures from a pair of Studio 20 v2s, which I still use with my TV setup and are going strong after 12 years of use.

    Big difference, especially with the Beryllium tweeters that are a big part of the Signature's sound.

    The bass is pretty sweet as well for a speaker this size. Don't need a sub.

    Give them a listen if you get the chance.

    The cabinets are gorgeous.
    WapatoWolf and RonW like this.
  5. guit30

    guit30 New Member

    Abington, Pa
    I'm happy with my old Fisher Bookshelf speakers, and I listen to a lot of SACDs.
    RonW likes this.
  6. inperson

    inperson Senior Member

    Such a nice picture. I saved it.
    Vinyl Fan 1973 and Sandy8 like this.
  7. RonW

    RonW Forum Resident

    New York
    Bookshelf speakers are awesome in small rooms. I use four Bose 301's stacked in my bedroom system with a Sunfire SFS-8 and totally love the sound. The Bose cover 30hz to 20K and the Sunfire handles from around 30-40 hz and below with a pleasant balance that really fills the room. Barry helped me set the speakers up for optimum in a 12x12 room using the rule of thirds and some traps.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
    bluemooze likes this.
  8. RonW

    RonW Forum Resident

    New York
    Almost forgot...I have a pair of Criterion bookshelf speakers 8" woofer and 2" tweeters that came with a Lafayette system many years ago. They are in great shape and I should get them out and have a listen!

    Last I remember they were incredibly clear and had real punch in their sound. Nice bass too.
  9. beppe

    beppe Forum Resident

    Venice, Italy
    Small room but big tower here. Ruark Accolade (before I had B&W DM2000).
    I really love this kind of sound.
    RonW likes this.
  10. shokhead

    shokhead Head shok and you still don't what it is. HA!

    SoCal, Long Beach
    Deep bass extending to 40hz and below is certainly possible from small stand mounts - you just can't have low bass and loud at the same time.

    And that's the part speaker company's don't say. Hey, this little speaker goes down to 38-40hz. Well we forgot to tell you that if you turn up the volume then that goes away. I'd have no problem with some nice bookshelfs but I'd worry more about the highs and mids and let my good sub take care of what most all bookshelfs will lack.{imo of course}
    RonW likes this.
  11. eggov

    eggov Active Member

    im happy with my kef ref 102, enough bass in my smallish room but the midrange is sweet
    RonW and Vinyl Fan 1973 like this.
  12. Col Kepper

    Col Kepper Well-Known Member

    Texas, Where else?
    My Boston Acoustic bookshelf speakers perform very well!
    Adam9 and RonW like this.
  13. Paul Saldana

    Paul Saldana jazz vinyl addict

    I heard the Pioneer BS22-LR recently and the bass was pretty thick with the speakers on a desk or table top. They're getting really good reviews almost everywhere.
    bluemooze and RonW like this.
  14. Brudy

    Brudy Senior Member

    I've been using Audioengine P4's. They're primarily known for their powered speakers (the A5), but the P4's sound great to me, especially for the size and price. A sub would help though with the low end.
    RonW likes this.
  15. Vinyl Fan 1973

    Vinyl Fan 1973 "They're like soup, they're like....nothing bad"

    My vintage IMF's are twice the size of bookshelf speakers and they do the job. I went from big floor speakers to these and I'm satisfied. I don't think I'll go back to floor speakers. I also have my eyes on a pair of Audio Monitor and B&w's.

  16. malco49

    malco49 Forum Resident

    ten year old PSB image B25's plenty loud for my row house living room....also have audioengine speakers for my laptop they also kick it...forget the model number but the basic model...not cheap $200 but worth it....PSB's cost be i think around $400 also have them on nice stands and isolated .......sound sooo good
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
  17. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Had a pair of those several years ago; exceptional speaker. One of those pieces you kick yourself for selling.
    You're right though, they are a bit chunky.
  18. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Right now I'm living quite happily with a pair of Soliloquy 5.0 monitors. I have used a sub with them at times and probably prefer it, but no sub now.
  19. drbryant

    drbryant Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    The original question is an odd one. Some of you guys are talking about little bookshelf speakers you use with computers in a 9 x 12 room, others are talking about large 2-1/2 way standmounts. Some are talking about $500 speakers and some are talking about $5000 speakers.
    Doug G. likes this.
  20. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident

    Typical for this forum. Very difficult to learn anything here these days. We've got everything from stacking Bose speakers to hardcore vintage.
    QBNCGAR likes this.
  21. captwillard

    captwillard Forum Resident

    I use a pair of Sonue Faber Liuto Monitirs without a sub and enjoy them very much.
  22. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident

    If they sound anywhere near as nice as they look, then WOW! Sonus Faber builds a beautiful speaker. Pretty cool that they are designing for those of us with a real world budget.
  23. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Meet me at the Green Dragon for an ale

    San Diego, CA, USA
    I don't follow the poke in the eye to the forum.

    The OP started a thread on who is 'happy' with their bookshelves and people have replied with their opinions.

    Anyone can start a more 'serious' thread and solicit opinions from the more learned members.
  24. sound chaser

    sound chaser Senior Member

    North East UK.
    ProAc Tablette 50 + Atacama SE24, the original fully welded version + 2/3 filled with silver sand = lovely.

  25. Vinyl Fan 1973

    Vinyl Fan 1973 "They're like soup, they're like....nothing bad"

    Well said....I didn't get that comment either. I just didn't see the point.
    hifisoup and RonW like this.
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