MA Bronze 2 vs. Klipsch RP-160M vs. Polk S20

ClipdatClipdat Posts: 3,484
Looking for the best bookshelf speaker in the ~$500 area. Currently have Polk TSi100s and I've been completely satisfied with them, but I can't help but think I'm missing out on something - a better listening experience - is it possible?

Have done research on the above listed, just hoping to hear some opinions from others on the matter. Room is a 13'x10' bedroom, associated equipment is in my signature.

I've also looked at the PSB Imagine XB, and the ELAC Uni-Fi UB5.
Got Dayens?

Comments

  • rpf65rpf65 Posts: 1,656
    Of the three listed, I would probably go with the MA's.

    Don't like the Klipsch sound, and don't care for the Signature series looks.
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 14,492
    You should be able to get the S55 in that price range if towers were an option.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 3,484
    One vote for the MA Bronze, thanks! These have been highly regarded and there is a shop near me that offered to let me audition them against the B&W 685 S2, but unfortunately they don't carry Klipsch or Polk.

    One thing worth noting regarding my inclusion of Klipsch, I've been using an original set of their ProMedia computer speakers since 1999 and I've become very accustomed to the Klipsch sound. I generally like that "treble forward" or "bright" sound signature, as I enjoy hearing every detail in my music.

    However, their Reference Series line is supposed to have tamed down any of that unpleasant "harshness" that people normally associate with Klipsch.

    Sounds like you have some strong feelings about the looks of the Signature series, but what about their sound?
    rpf65 wrote: »
    Of the three listed, I would probably go with the MA's.

    Don't like the Klipsch sound, and don't care for the Signature series looks.

    Yeah, unfortunately I just don't have any room for towers, and if I tried to force them to fit, the placement would be less than ideal anyway.

    I've pretty much accepted the fact that I won't be able to get a nice set of towers set up in a dedicated listening room until I own my own house.
    DSkip wrote: »
    You should be able to get the S55 in that price range if towers were an option.

    Got Dayens?
  • rpf65rpf65 Posts: 1,656
    The signature series sound pretty good.

    No where near as forward as the Klipsh, but that is what I dislike about the Klipsch sound. Just seems the upper Hz seems to over power everything else. Some people like that sound, just not my thing.

    If you can listen to those AJ series speakers, think it may be worth the time. Probably the best sounding speakers in your price range. Although this bronze series speakers are no slackers either. Probably the best sounding series in the MA one up.
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 39,603
    I'd take the Polk S20 over the Elac.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 3,484
    edited October 2017
    Yes, I completely see what you mean - they do definitely have their own style of high frequency reproduction.

    Yeah those AJ designed speakers seem to carry a lot of pedigree don't they? I've never even heard of ELAC before I started doing this research, but people seem to like them.
    rpf65 wrote: »
    Just seems the upper Hz seems to over power everything else. Some people like that sound, just not my thing.

    If you can listen to those AJ series speakers, think it may be worth the time. Probably the best sounding speakers in your price range.

    Nice, a vote for the S20. Thoughts on any of the other potential choices? Anything absolutely worth breaking my budget to 600-700 for that is dramatically better?
    F1nut wrote: »
    I'd take the Polk S20 over the Elac.

    Wildcard?! CAMBRIDGE AUDIO Aeromax 2? Anyone got any thoughts about these?

    They're only $350 on A4L and $600 elsewhere.

    Got Dayens?
  • ZLTFULZLTFUL Posts: 4,417
    Of the ones mentioned so far, my 2 votes would be (in order) MAs then the Elacs.

    I am one of those who just hasn't been impressed by what I have heard from the Signatures. They aren't bad IMHO, but the Elacs and the MAs do better at the price point...again IMHO.

    If it were me, I would take the Elac B6s because my buddy's shop sells them and I have the most time with them so they are a definitively known commodity.
    "Some people find it easier to be conceited rather than correct."

    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
    2 Channel: Silverline Audio Sonatina MKI, Monitor 5 Series II, DIY Seas based bookies
    LR 2 Channel: LSi7, DSW-MP2000
    HT: JTR Triple 8 LCRs, DIYSG Volt 8LX Surrounds, DIYSG Volt 6LX Atmos, 6 SI HT-18D2 Subs
    Guest BR 2 Channel: Swans D1080MKII
    Deck: Pyle BT Speaker pair with upgraded woofers
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 14,492
    The LSiM 703 isn't far out of reach when on sale.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 3,484
    edited October 2017
    Thanks for your thoughts. Good to know that Elac is a well respected speaker manufacturer. The B6 looks to be lower in their range than the UB5, but perhaps the 6.5" woofer is a selling point.
    ZLTFUL wrote: »
    Of the ones mentioned so far, my 2 votes would be (in order) MAs then the Elacs.

    I am one of those who just hasn't been impressed by what I have heard from the Signatures. They aren't bad IMHO, but the Elacs and the MAs do better at the price point...again IMHO.

    If it were me, I would take the Elac B6s because my buddy's shop sells them and I have the most time with them so they are a definitively known commodity.

    Considered the 703s but shopping around the cheapest I could really find them for was on eBay from people presumably reselling their Adorama open boxes for around $800-900 a pair which is a bit more than what I was looking to spend.

    Also in another thread I posted, Jesse mentioned that my NAD would not be the best fit for them, from an amplification/wattage perspective.
    DSkip wrote: »
    The LSiM 703 isn't far out of reach when on sale.

    Got Dayens?
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 14,492
    Nope. Forgot the NAD. Not a good fit.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 6,954
    I agree with Skip, I'd just get the LSiM 703's when on sale. Adorama has sales periodically, and Polk also sells refurbed ones periodically that are a real bargain. No need to pay anywhere near $800-900 if patient. Polk will be due for a friends and family half off sale pretty soon if nothing else. All those include free shipping. The 703's will smoke those ELACs
  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 6,954
    If you're anywhere near Atlanta look at the 703's in the Clubhouse thread under miscellaneous audio deals of the day. $399
  • Viking64Viking64 Posts: 2,532
    DSkip wrote: »
    Nope. Forgot the NAD. Not a good fit.
    What would be a "good fit" for a pair of modded 2.3TL's power amp-wise? Let's say in the $1000-2000 range? New or used.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 3,484
    Half off puts them at $750/pair and still doesn't address the issue that supposedly my NAD would not be able to drive them properly/adequately.
    dromunds wrote: »
    I agree with Skip, I'd just get the LSiM 703's when on sale. Adorama has sales periodically, and Polk also sells refurbed ones periodically that are a real bargain. No need to pay anywhere near $800-900 if patient. Polk will be due for a friends and family half off sale pretty soon if nothing else. All those include free shipping. The 703's will smoke those ELACs

    Got Dayens?
  • ZLTFULZLTFUL Posts: 4,417
    Viking64 wrote: »
    DSkip wrote: »
    Nope. Forgot the NAD. Not a good fit.
    What would be a "good fit" for a pair of modded 2.3TL's power amp-wise? Let's say in the $1000-2000 range? New or used.

    Probably best to start your own thread so that your question doesn't compete with the OP's questions for "bandwidth".
    "Some people find it easier to be conceited rather than correct."

    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
    2 Channel: Silverline Audio Sonatina MKI, Monitor 5 Series II, DIY Seas based bookies
    LR 2 Channel: LSi7, DSW-MP2000
    HT: JTR Triple 8 LCRs, DIYSG Volt 8LX Surrounds, DIYSG Volt 6LX Atmos, 6 SI HT-18D2 Subs
    Guest BR 2 Channel: Swans D1080MKII
    Deck: Pyle BT Speaker pair with upgraded woofers
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 3,484
    I've been told I should also look into the Dali Zensor 3. That 7" woofer is intriguing.

    https://www.dali-speakers.com/loudspeakers/zensor/zensor-3/
    Got Dayens?
  • deronb1deronb1 Posts: 4,193
    B&W 686 S2
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 3,484
    That was also on my short list, due to positive reviews. Just hesitant to go with smaller than a 6" woofer.
    deronb1 wrote: »
    B&W 686 S2

    Got Dayens?
  • rpf65rpf65 Posts: 1,656
    Think you need to listen to different brands of speakers. Just getting the feeling you have no idea what you're looking for, sound wise that is.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 3,484
    Thanks.
    rpf65 wrote: »
    Just getting the feeling you have no idea what you're looking for, sound wise that is.

    Got Dayens?
  • UpstatemaxUpstatemax Posts: 2,209
    https://www.musicdirect.com/speakers/focal-chorus-705-bookshelf-speakers-pr-afocalch705blk

    I own the S20’s and very similar focal speakers. The Focal speakers are light years ahead of the S20’s when it comes to imaging and balance of soundstage.
    Living room:
    Samsung PN50B860 50" Plasma : XBOX One : Roku 3 : Oppo BDP-103 : Pioneer Elite SC-87 : APC H15 : Focal 806V mains : Focal 806V Surrounds : SVS SB2000 : SVS SB12-NSD

    2Ch:
    Sonus Faber Venere S : Parasound HCA 1500A : Oppo UDP-205 : Furman Elite 15 DM i : Sony XBR 55X810C Monitor :
  • UpstatemaxUpstatemax Posts: 2,209
    Living room:
    Samsung PN50B860 50" Plasma : XBOX One : Roku 3 : Oppo BDP-103 : Pioneer Elite SC-87 : APC H15 : Focal 806V mains : Focal 806V Surrounds : SVS SB2000 : SVS SB12-NSD

    2Ch:
    Sonus Faber Venere S : Parasound HCA 1500A : Oppo UDP-205 : Furman Elite 15 DM i : Sony XBR 55X810C Monitor :
  • no one has mentioned the wharfedale Diamond 10.1 or 10.2 I have the larger 2's & love them for both 2chnl & 7.1 mains. A slightly warm speaker with real bass for a large bookshelf. Had the rtia 1's,paradigm monitor7's,pioneer AJ med bookshelfs, & like them the best of all.
    Lsi 7's, Snell E.5's, velodyne & polk subs, Trancendant pre , Musical concepts & Musical design Amps, Cal Audio CD player
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 3,484
    Yeah! I saw those on A4L and thought it looked intriguing but then my "it's too good to be true" alarm kept going off, like there must be a catch to that extremely low price.
    Upstatemax wrote: »

    Thanks for the tip about Whalfdale. I know another Polkie mentioned that they love theirs as well.
    AVnut57 wrote: »
    no one has mentioned the wharfedale Diamond 10.1 or 10.2 I have the larger 2's & love them for both 2chnl & 7.1 mains. A slightly warm speaker with real bass for a large bookshelf. Had the rtia 1's,paradigm monitor7's,pioneer AJ med bookshelfs, & like them the best of all.

    Got Dayens?
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 3,484
    Damn, Audio Advisor just put the Bronze 2 on special for $378 instead of $500.

    Urge to buy rising...
    Got Dayens?
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 3,484
    Update: Ordered the MA Bronze 2. Couldn't pass up that price. Will definitely post up some listening impressions in a new thread when they arrive and I get my ears on them.

    Thanks everyone who suggested various speakers for me to look into!
    Got Dayens?
  • halohalo Posts: 4,015
    Clipdat wrote: »
    Update: Ordered the MA Bronze 2. Couldn't pass up that price. Will definitely post up some listening impressions in a new thread when they arrive and I get my ears on them.

    Thanks everyone who suggested various speakers for me to look into!

    Very B) Drew!

    Give yourself some time alone with them, say 2-weeks, before you compare them to your current speakers.

    Congrats!
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 3,484
    Just in case anyone searching comes across this and gets the wrong idea...

    I ended up sending the Monitor Audio Bronze 2 back after auditioning them for several weeks. Despite the majority of reviews online for them being overwhelmingly positive, I did not care for their sound.

    It was almost as if they were designed for people who don't have the greatest hearing, in regards to how they reproduced high frequencies. The tweeter was sharp, shrill, and harsh with overly accented highs. On the other end, the bass and low end was incredibly absent. What little bass was being produced was super anemic and hollow.

    The overall musicality of the speaker was very low and it was not pleasant in any way to listen to for any length of time. It was probably one of the worst sounding speakers I've ever heard.

    When I sent them back, the retailer said that the reason they sounded like this is because I hadn't broken them in for 100 hours.

    Anyway, I ended up doing what I should have done 5 years ago and purchased a pair of Polk LSiM 703s which sounded amazing right out of the box with zero hours on them. Warm midrange, clean highs, and great bass performance. An excellent speaker and I couldn't be happier with them.
    Got Dayens?
  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 6,954
    Just wait until you get 100 hours on those 703’s. They get better. Lol
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