Back to Square One

I'll make a long story short. Thanks to some car repairs since September I've shot my disposable income for the year. Still need a pair of speakers too because when I was just about to buy a pair my car needed a new engine.

Have looked at the DIY concept but have become very discouraged with the attitude of some of the people. Many have an elitist attitude that ANY commercial offering is junk and pales in comparison to any home built speaker or speaker kit. In light of this I don't entirely trust some of the advice I am getting from those people on another forum.

At this point I think I can scrape up around $400 again by May if nothing else happens to cause me to be out 4 grand or $1500 at a shot. I figure I can still get a decent speaker for up to $400 and be content until at some point when I can build a DIY kit or find a better commercial offering.

1) My current Jamo C 601's sound fine but need to be placed 24 inches from the back wall to give the right sound stage. I need something that can be placed right up against the back wall or perhaps a few inches off.

2) Need a speaker with a mellow high end. Nothing bright. Like a nice soundstage and good detail. Bass does not need to be heavy. Just want to hear it.

3) Prefer a bookshelf speaker though may consider a small tower if it is light weight.

4) Will be using a Qinpu A3 integrated amp and also a Dayton DTA 120 solid state integrated amp. 50 wpc into 8 ohms.

5) Room size is 14 by 12 with a 9 foot ceiling. Hardwood floors too. Thus the need for a mellow speaker.

Was thinking the Boston Acoustics A 25 might work. Read a couple of reviews that said it can be placed up against the wall and still sound decent.

Any other ideas. I am open to suggestions.
You might want to consider the Pioneer speakers that get rave reviews. See link below for their center channel speaker. These speakers do have a rear port, so you will want to place them about 8+ inches from the back wall. But I doubt you can do any better for the money, $69 ea.

They also have stand mount and floorstanders from the same lineup, research and determine what will work in your environment...,store:1190912619498917587&hl=en&lsft=ref:212,loc:1&prds=oid:13160185543627251501&sa=X&ei=ML0FVfjcCovFgwSWjYCABQ&ved=0CEIQrhI

RW. Thanks for the suggestion. Will do some research on them. Have heard about them and Stereophile lists them as one of the best products in the "D" category for 2014.

Just found out the Wharfdale Diamond 10.1 is still available and apparently on sale. Probably a closeout. That speaker may be the best I can get that more or less has exactly the sound I am looking for. Also found out it plays fine near the back wall.
If you are buying used i would suggest you cut the budget in half and buy two sets of speakers . Listen to them and keep what you like . Then sell the other pair . Once sold use that money and buy another set . Repeat , Repeat ... Eventually you will find the one and have a lot of fun along the way. You will have to get over the fact that spending half of your budget does not necessarily mean you are compromising sound quality vs dollars spent. Same principal for all other components in the system . Living with crappy sound because you spent your whole budget on one piece that does not pan out sucks . Stack the odds in your favor and buy a few of each component .
Maplegrovemusic. Yes, I am planning on doing something along these lines. Thanks for reinforcing this idea as being the best route. Two pairs of speakers are in the cards since I will have two different systems in separate rooms. Will purchase speakers that are soncially different from one another. That way certain recordings that don't sound right on one, should work well on the other pair of speakers.
If you're not opposed to "vintage" speakers, have a look at the pair of Design Acoustics ps-10s on the eauction site. There's a pair with new woofer surrounds (common) listed for less than 150. I use a pair in my business office and feel they're one of the most fun and best value speakers I've used. I even tried them out in my Mc and CJ based system at home and they performed great. Can be placed right up against the wall, have a nice, smooth (tweeter adjustible) top end, and plenty of tight bass with the 10" sealed downfiring woofer. If you hate them, you could sell them for what you paid. Their depreciation bottomed out and always seem to sell for $100-200.
If you could stretch your budget to about $500.00, a used pair of GoldenEar Aon 2s would be ideal for your needs.
Another suggestion would be a used pair of the amazing Silverline Minuet Supreme Pluses.

Both the Diamond 10.1 and the SP-BS21s or 22s are excellent choices $400.00 and under.
If you are anticipating an speaker upgrade when finances allow, I would go with the Pioneer sp22s for now. A very pleasing sound at a price that will allow for savings to be set aside for the future.
I suggest you read this review from Absolute Sound about the $400/pair Infinity Primus P363 compact floorstanders.

Although the review mentions that street price is around $300/pair, in my own searches, for the most part they seem to be holding steady at around $400/pair. If they're as good as TAS says they are, that's still quite a good deal.

They are 39.5" tall with a footprint of 8.25"w x 13"d. That's about the size of a mini-monitor on a stand, but in this case you get a twin woofer 3-way, making for a claimed 93dB sensitivity and 38Hz bass extension. Available as close as your local Best Buy.
Infinity 363 tower is too heavy. I don't want to lug around another 50 lb speaker these days.

Sales Rep with Wharfedale suggested the new 220. What Hi Fi raves about it and says it is the best speaker in its class. No flaws. And with the downward firing port it can be places just a few inches from the rear wall and sound fine.

Aon 2's according to a review said don't play well in larger rooms. Best in very small rooms. I suspect that the size room I have and the high ceiling will not work well for this speaker.

The Pioneer gets very good reviews including a great write up from Stereophile. Comes up a bit short against the Wharfedale's but overall a very good speaker that is dirt cheap. It has a rear port though I and I am wondering about placement. Will have to read more user reviews to see if this can be placed near a rear wall and still project a good image. Wharfedales's will do that.

Design Acoustics is another large speaker from what I see. Finding a complete working model is going to be a challenge. Every one for sale that I could see needed some kind of work. Will research these a bit more though because they do seem to have the right sound for my ears.
03-19-15: Will62

Aon 2's according to a review said don't play well in larger rooms. Best in very small rooms. I suspect that the size room I have and the high ceiling will not work well for this speaker.
I'm curious to know which review this was. The Aon 2 has a sensitivity somewhere around 86-89 dB and power handling up to 200 watts. Its sidewalls are taken up by two large passive radiators. A 9 x 12 room would be child's play for this speaker. It really behaves more like a 40" tall tower.

I heard the Aon 3s in a much larger room (probably 15x18 or even larger) and if anything, people were looking for the hidden subwoofer. Filling space is one of its strong suits.

There are several reviews out there to balance the information. Here's the one from Stereophile.

One other thing: the Aon 2 should be considered a 4-ohm speaker. With the wrong amp it could sound small and undynamic. With a 4-ohm rated amp it should be fine. I heard it powered by a 100wpc Peachtree.
I can’t help but think that the Pioneers would work for you even though rear ported. They are rolled off at high and low frequencies which would benefit your lively room regarding the higher frequencies and close to wall placement would augment the bass. I have a pair and will try them out close to wall over the weekend.

That said, if you like the Wharfdales, I don’t believe you can go wrong buying them. Music Direct has the 10.1 on sale and offer in home trial. They are known to be more refined than the Pioneers, at about 2x the cost. I haven’t read up on the 220s, will check them out.

Johnnyb53. Found the following reviews. Reference here about how well it does in small rooms. Seems to suggest it is better suited to small rooms.
Mesch. Sure, let me know how the test goes. I don't really want a bass heavy speaker. Just need to hear it. The Jamo is fine in that respect it just needs too much room off the back wall which is a problem in the new house.

Music Direct has a 60 day return policy. I have read almost no bad reviews of the Diamond 10.1 or the new 220's. And based upon what I have read these are going to sound a lot like the Jamo speakers but likely a little better.
Those two links are to the model Aon 3, not 2. Odd. I searched for the 2 but somehow the 3 also came up.

Read a Stereophile review of the 2 and it does appear to be a great speaker. Finding one that I can afford, even used, will be a challenge though.
Why is the weight of the Infinity Primus P363 such a factor? I'd consider 50 lbs to be a good thing for a small floorstander, and it has a lot going for it for being diminuitive while fully energizing your room and being devoid of cabinet resonances.

BTW, I think the WhatHiFi review chose poorly for the amplifier in their Aon test--an NAD D 3020, which is only 30 wpc. The symptoms they mentioned when trying to drive the Aons could easily be from running out of power. The Aons can absorb lots of power (200w) and play LOUD. With an 86 dB sensitivity, they should be able to put out nearly 110 dB (at one meter) with 200 watts input. That's loud, esp. in a 9x12 room. Your ceiling height doesn't make that much difference; it's the same volume as a 10 x 12 room with conventional 8' ceiling. This is the size of a typical kid's bedroom in a 3-bedroom house.

That review reveals more about successful amp-matching than speaker quality.

Looks like a good speaker. But again the weight is an issue. I have had a slipped disc in my back for 20 years and as I've gotten older I have eliminated most of my heavy furniture. Aside from my Mirage OM 10 towers I don't have anything that weighs more than 40 lbs at this time except for a chair that belonged to my Grandfather. When I buy a dresser again that will likely be as light a piece as I can find.

If I knew I was not going to move again I would be more inclined to buy a larger speaker. But the house is small and not ideal as my permanent home. Current apartment is even punier and these would take up half the room. LOL
Maybe you should consider the Magneplanar MMGs. They are $599/pair, are
only a couple inches deep and only weigh 20 lbs. each. You could place
them within a few inches of the wall when not in use and bring them out into
the room for music. At 20 lbs. each and 14.5" wide, they'd be easy to
move. I have a pair of 1.7s for an open architecture living room (augmented
by some small subwoofers and I *really* like them. It's amazing how natural a
speaker can sound when it has no enclosure and lots of diaphragm area. I
didn't realize how noisy conventional speakers are, trying to contain all the
backwave energy in a small box, which also bounces the sound around and
(presumably) influences the motion of the drivers.

FWIW, your dealer's recommendation of the Wharfedale Diamonds seems to
be a very good fit. I have had a pair of Diamond 7.3 compact towers in
constant use for 16 years.
After I get my taxes done in early April I will know what I can afford. If I don't owe and get a few hundred back I may be able to purchase something up to $600. The MMG's do interest me and I have considered these over the years. Since they are light weight and can be moved, I would not have an issue owning a pair of these.

I have picked out a pair of DIY speakers which will be purchased at the end of this year or after I get moved into a house (or the existing house). But I want a pair of new commercial grade speakers as well since I will have two systems. Not sure the OM 10's will sound right in the other room due to placement issues again and the shape of one wall.

I also have to contend with plaster walls in the current house. Have put in some heavy drapes and will get some acoustic panels for the walls if I can figure out a way to mount them without drilling into the plaster. That being the case I must have a mellow speaker to avoid listening fatigue. Little question the Wharfedale's should work fine in that environment. Their Denton is half off at Music Direct and that might be worth considering since it has a very mellow sound and also does not need to be that far off the rear wall to sound good.