Downsizing my PC audio rig

Tyler-Durden

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I've got a pair of SVS MBS-02 bookshelf speakers that I'd like to replace with something smaller like a dual 5.25 array pair of speakers. The MBS-02 sound great, but are huge. I'm switching to a smaller workstation. No way can I continue using them. Any thoughts on good sounding smaller bookshelf speakers, preferably in that dual 5.25 format?
 

TESLA

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What are the dimensions on those? I believe they utilize 7" drivers? Do you currently augment them with a sub?

Budget?

Large as they may be, it'll be difficult to replicate what the SVS MBS-02s can do in the low end.
 

Monglol

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You could look into the Neumann KH 120a if you like a flat and detailed frequency response. They sound a lot bigger than what they are. There is much more information to be had about them on gearslutz.com if they seem interesting to you.
 

Megalith

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Yes, try the KH 120. I am amused at how much low-end they provide despite their size.
 

Tyler-Durden

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What are the dimensions on those? I believe they utilize 7" drivers? Do you currently augment them with a sub?

Budget?

Large as they may be, it'll be difficult to replicate what the SVS MBS-02s can do in the low end.
You're right, the MBS-02 have a 7" driver; 13" x 11" x 16"; about 25 lbs. I bought them last summer during SVS clearance sale. They were $399, regularly $899. Obviously, they were a helluva deal. I run them with a PC12-NSD sub and Pioneer receiver. I have no plans to replace the sub 'cuz it's an earthquake machine.

My budget is $900. I looked at DefTech's Studio Monitor SM65 and liked what I saw/heard. The Neumanns are powered monitors. Not ready to go that route, just yet. They'd certainly solve my diminished desk space problem, though.
 

Sycraft

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I don't know that you will find much that is small, and does a MTM design like you want. Generally you find that kind of thing in center speakers and they are a bit on the large side. Given that you find the MBS-02s too large (I have 4 of them so I have a good size reference) I think you may need to stick with a smaller, single woofer setup.

So the MBS-02s are about 13"x10"x15" LxWxH. So compare that to the B&W LCR 60S3 which has 2 5.25" woofers and 1 tweeter in an MTM configuration. That is 11"x7"x18" if you stand it up on end. All you really save yourself is a bit of width, at the cost of a bit of height (all these are my measurements).

Also to note, with regards to drivers, is there's different ways of measuring them. Many companies state the size in terms of radiating area, so the size of the cone and surround, but not the whole basket structure. SVS uses the whole basket structure, so the drivers in the MBS-02s are 6" by the reckoning of many makers, not 7" as SVS uses.

To save any real amount of space you are going to need to downsize a lot, which may mean powered monitors since they are the stuff that is usually smaller. Also I don't know if you'll be able to have an MTM design, that may keep the size up too much.

You should probably define the dimensionality and weight you need and then we can see if there's anything available.

Just be warned: The MBS speakers were cheap even at $900. You'll have trouble getting something quite as good. Their tweeters in particular were just amazing. Refinements of Scanspeak's Aircirc tweeter which run about $200 each. So while your sub can pick up some bass slack, you probably won't get speakers with as good a high end and soundstage. As an example their MTS-01s which I bought were like $1500. One of the only other speakers I know of that uses the same kind of tweeters are the Tangent Prestige and they have a similar design in terms of the Aircirc tweeter and two midwoofers below it. their cost? More like $3000.

Not to say you can't get other speakers you'll be happy with, just consider that SVS really did well on their M series.
 

Zenshi

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I think one possible small MTM design is the Anthony Gallo Strada. However they are very expensive (I think like $900 each) and don't know how good they are.
 

Tyler-Durden

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I think one possible small MTM design is the Anthony Gallo Strada. However they are very expensive (I think like $900 each) and don't know how good they are.
Yeah, those are way more than I want to spend. The only one I've found, so far, is DefTech's SM65. $900/pair. They sound excellent and would fit on my new desk.

Everything Sycraft wrote about the MBS-02 is true. Amazing speakers and an outright steal at $399/pair. Just no way I can use them in my new setup.
 

Sycraft

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Well given the physical specs of the SM65s, the B&W CM Center would be another option. I do like B&W sound, but they do tend to be expensive. Still, worth a look. They are also supposedly even a bit thinner than the SM65s.
 

TESLA

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Is there a reason you are looking specifically for MTM? (Although, asking that may be moot as those SM 65s have been rather well received.)

Also, have you considered SVS' new Ultra line? Their new bookshelves are down to 8.5" in width, although they are slightly more expensive at just under $1,000 before any potential sale pricing.
 

dandragonrage

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IMO you should be looking for a basic 2-way for desk listening, not an MTM... MTM is much, much better when you have some distance. They can still sound good nearfield, but it's not an optimal design whatsoever.
 

matteos

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I've got a pair of SVS MBS-02 bookshelf speakers that I'd like to replace with something smaller like a dual 5.25 array pair of speakers. The MBS-02 sound great, but are huge. I'm switching to a smaller workstation. No way can I continue using them. Any thoughts on good sounding smaller bookshelf speakers, preferably in that dual 5.25 format?

Can you find room for them by wall mounting? maybe making some stands and positioning them above the desk.

My experience with audio is similar to graphics for video games... You're never satisfied going backwards.
 

Tyler-Durden

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Can you find room for them by wall mounting? maybe making some stands and positioning them above the desk.

My experience with audio is similar to graphics for video games... You're never satisfied going backwards.
Yeah, I just popped in to say I'm going to stick with my MBS and find a way to make them work in my setup, even if I've gotta use a different desk.

Thanks for all the great feedback!
 

Zenshi

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Everything Sycraft wrote about the MBS-02 is true. Amazing speakers and an outright steal at $399/pair. Just no way I can use them in my new setup.

I would think so if they are using Scanspeak aircirc tweeters. You sound like you got them for an amazing deal too.
 

Sycraft

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I would think so if they are using Scanspeak aircirc tweeters. You sound like you got them for an amazing deal too.

They don't use Aircircs precisely. The MBS-01s (and other 1 series M speakers) used the Aircircs. The MBS-02s use SVS's refinement/modification of it. It is still made by Scanspeak, but SVS asked for modifications on the original design. I don't know all the details of what they changed.

At any rate, high class tweeters, and they sound it.

He got the same deal I did on the speakers which was when SVS closed out their M series. They cut all the prices in half or more to clean out their inventory. It was real nice if you got in on it.
 

Tyler-Durden

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B00nie

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I find it hard to believe the hype behind the Sierras. Just from first look you can see a few odd design choices which should impair the sound. One such blatant thing is the unnecessary large distance between the main driver and the tweeter. The tweeter should be acoustically closer to the main driver than the crossover frequency is - and in the case of a speaker small as this with no tweeter waveguides the crossover is going to be high.

Also there seems to be a difference between audio reviewers and people who actually listen them at home: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1000092/am-i-the-only-one-who-doesnt-like-ascend-acoustics-sierra-1s
 
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I don't have any personal stake in this argument (don't own any Ascends although they will be in consideration when I upgrade my living room speakers), but you found one review by a dude who didn't like the Sierras, and he was accustomed to the B&W sound. If you are reaching for anecdotal evidence, there is an Ascend thread on avsforum with many happy buyers, as well as Ascend's own forum.

The crossover frequency is somewhat above 1800Hz. I agree that the distance between the woofer and the tweeter is a bit surprising, but it still seems within the realms of acceptable.
 
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