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Thread: Looking for help in Stereo Speaker selection

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Top of Georgia

    Looking for help in Stereo Speaker selection

    I know there are plenty of audio experts on here. You've all been helpful before.

    My Dad gave me his old unused Pioneer receiver (VSX-402). Alternatively I might use my Onkyo TX-904 I'm looking for a pair of bookshelf speakers to go with it. They will actually go on a bookshelf and probably get used as bookends.

    I do have a 30 year old pair of Wharfedale Delta 3 bookshelf speakers. One of the woofers is blown or at least doesn't work. The last time I inquired with Wharfedale about having them repaired I was told I am SOL. I am way out of my league on this, but could the woofer be replaced with a another brand? I know nothing of this stuff but I know how to click "BUY" on the internet. Is this an option or best just to buy a set of something recommended? I had high hopes with Orange County Speakers but even they said it was slim chances of success.

    So the catch is I don't want to spend a lot of money. Usually I buy very good mid end to lower high end stuff, but not looking to this time. You know, I'm looking for a great $300 gyuto not a $700+ one. But I still want something better than a $29 pair of Emersons from Big Lots. They will be used only for CDs (which I currently listen to through the TV speakers) and listening to the news on the radio. The shelves are 9" deep so that is a limitation too.

    They will have to be something shipped. Craigslist rarely works for me because anything on there is at least a 2 hour drive away. So eBay or online merchant. Which also means I can't listen ahead of time. I would if I could but the only stores in my area are Home Depot, Big Lots, Walmart and the grocery. It would be an all day affair to listen to speakers. So I'm trusting you guys for advice.

    I have a short list of speakers I am considering, Would love some help whittling it down or any other suggestions:

    Mirage m190i
    Wharfedale Diamond 3
    Wharfedale Diamond 6R
    NHT Superone XU
    Polk Audio Monitor 30
    MB Quart 280
    MB Quart QLC104



  2. #2
    I just purchased speakers a couple a months ago and listened to number of brands. While I didn't listen to many bookshelf speakers, I was impressed with the PSB speakers that I listened to. I know they make a good range of bookshelf speakers.

    I was impressed with the natural sound, warmth and tone of the speakers, as well as the balance of sound (not overly tinny in the highs or boomy in the midrange, upper bass) and compared them directly to Monitor Audio speakers that I ultimately ended up buying. If you look online, there are a number of reviews of PSB bookshelf speakers.
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  3. #3
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Cincinnati, Oh
    PSB is a good choice.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Randleman NC
    Short answer to the repair question is no. A budget would be good but all those speakers are good, have you been out to audition anything? If you wanted to try online with in home trial emotiva is suppose to be nice but I have no experience.

    The onkyo should be good as well. I personally have custom finished speakers from I have heard the whole line up and have enjoyed all of them.


  5. #5
    Emotiva is also a good option based on their return policy from what I've read. They have a 30 day return period; the buyer is responsible for shipping the product back.
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    WildBoar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    NHTs are always great, as are PSBs. I would go for a model with a front-firing port since the speakers will be almost back against the vertical surface.
    David (WildBoar's Kitchen)

  7. #7
    Mirage today is a shadow of its' former self. Stick with PSB out of those choices. I would also look into Dynaudio but you may need a higher current amp to make them shine.

    If you don't mind stepping away from of the big brand names who spend a ton on marketing, take a look at That is my favorite audiophile forum and they have a lot of direct to customer vendors. For example, if you want amazing looking and incredible sounding speakers you could also check salk sound.
    Twitter: @PeterDaEater

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    New Zealand
    Just grab those polk audio ones from what youve listed.
    If youre happy with the tv speakers youll be happy with those, they all seem to be older models? also those mb quarts are 4ohm so will need to be run through an amp that can supply it.
    Check your selections out at audiokarma org

    My father is a massive audiophile, im talking $80,000+ worth of gear sitting in his lounge!
    Its a very expensive hobby, he can move his speakers an inch and the sound completely changes, the thing with most speakers is they need to be matched to a good setup, power amp, pre amp, good cables, floor spikes the list goes on.

    His setup if anyone is interested:

    Meridian 808 cd player
    Quad elite pre amp
    Quad elite power amp
    Shahinian Acoustics Hawk Sub Woofers, these fetch insane amounts.
    Unsure of his latest loudspeakers but around 6 grand each i think.
    Kimberly Kables at $150 a metre..
    Its crazy.

  9. #9
    Can you tell us a few things, AJ?

    1. What kinds of music do you mostly listen to? Can you tell us three or four major categories of music you listen to, in order from most to least?

    2. What do you care about most when you're listening to music? Vocals? A certain instrument? Bass?

    3. Are you looking for a plain black speaker?

    FWIW, I just started using my Onkyo TX-844 again, a 60 x 2, receiver that I bought in 1990. It sounded better to me than a current model Pioneer AV receiver when connected to the speakers I bought, compared to what I listened to at a store - the Pioneer Receiver that I listened to was connected to speakers a model lower than what I bought. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the Onkyo.
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  10. #10
    Senior Member cwrightthruya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    I will throw my opinions into the mix as well. I have built a few 20k+ systems for people in the last few years. Mhlee is correct in that we need to know the major categories of music you listen. However, we also need to know whether you listen to MP3's from an Ipod dock often or to uncompressed LP's (like me), or if you only listen to cd's and are planning to never move to either of the other 2. If the former, pretty much anything under a $1,000 will get you what you are looking for, including everything on the list you mentioned. However, I would stay away from mirage as their customer service and quality has taken a serious nose dive in the past few years.

    But, if you appreciate the true nature of uncompressed music from LP's or even uncompressed digital tracks then the small nuances of not only the speakers themselves, but also the receiver, the room dynamics, the interplay of the aforementioned, and etc will all come into play. People talk about knives being a rabbit hole....but entertainment centers are about as deep as it gets.

    I would also throw into the mix, depending on the FLEXIBILITY of your budget, EMP. Here is a link for an online authorized dealer. I use RBH for my entertainment room, and EMP in my bedroom. Both are incredible...but unless you are willing to drop $7-15k on speakers alone I would stay away from RBH.

    Hope this helps,

    At Death's Door You Only Have 2 choices. Die Happy or Die Regretfully.
    Knowing this...........Choose 1 and Live!!!!!!!!!

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