Ascend, Axiom, B&W, Klipsch or Paradigm w/ Elite52?


Unregistered guest
I am looking to add some rears to my existing Klipsch RF-3's to start a surround system
I have a Pioneer Elite VSX-52tx receiver. Don't have the sub yet, but on the list.

I have recently purchased the newer Klipsch reference series in-wall mount speakers, the Klipsch RF5800kw's , to use as rear surrounds with my "slightly" older RB-3's.
I was VERY disappointed with the sound of the RF5800's.
They sounded as if the music was coming out of coffee cans.
I have some 10-12 year old ("Cheap" at $100 for the pair) Yamaha bookshelf speakers that sounded better in a side-by-side comparison. The Yamaha's are a little bigger, so maybe they have more range???? But, these little Klipsch in-walls were expensive to sound so bad. And I never really thought the Yamaha's were such great speakers. Good for the price though.

My RF-3's sound way better. I realize the RF-3's are tower speakers and it is not fair to compare them to in-wall speakers, But, I don't understand why there is such a difference in "quality" of sound. The RF-3's are now an older model having been built from '99 -- '01.

The RF5800kw's are the new in-wall speakers. There are some design changes as the mid-range cone is different. The cone is solid brass colored now, whereas the older model was brass on the perimeter and black in the middle.

I am wondering if I should consider the older design Klipsch RB-3's for rear surrounds. Or should I consider other bookshelf style speakers?

I have read through many of the threads on this forum. A lot of guys, trying to help a lot of people. Great deeds. Thanks!

I have read that the B&W's are really nice speakers. I was considering the DM601's.
Many people posting in the threads had also mentioned that the Axioms and the Ascends were very good speakers.
I have also heard the Paradigm's are apparently pretty good.

I tried looking up websites for the above.
The following appear to be options:

Axiom: M2i or M3ti
Ascend: CBM-170
B&W: 601
Paradigm: Couldn't figure out -- help would be appreciated, if this is a good option.


I would like to keep the price under $400.

What would make the best rear surround's?

And what would compliment my Klipsch RB-3's and Elite-52 system?

Any help would be appreciated.


Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 155
Registered: Oct-04
The Klipschs have quite a unique sound, I imagine it will be difficult to timbre match the surrounds to the fronts with any other brands.

The RF5800-Ws use a "8-inch Cerametallic woofer cone, 1-inch titanium tweeter mated to a pivoting Tractrix Horn" while the RF-3s use a "1" (2.54cm) magnetically shielded, titanium dome compression driver tweeter with a 6" (15.24cm) square 90° x 60° Tractrix Horn and two 8" (20.32cm) magnetically shielded, aluminum cone woofers "

The tin can sound you hear is most likely the difference between the Cerametallic woofer of the 5800s and the Aluminum ones used in the RF-3s. I'll bet they sound a lot better with the fronts turned off. Best option is to match them to the RF-3s with the same product line from that year.

This page:

shows all the matching products for the RF-3s.

The RCW-5 in wall speaker will match nicely, or the RS-3 on wall surround speakers. The RB-3s also use the same components but are a step up. Personally if you plan on using them at any point for surround speakers for movies I'd go with the RS-3s, as I consider diffuse firing speakers better than direct firing for surround sound.

Bronze Member
Username: Shantao

Post Number: 74
Registered: Apr-04
Another thing to consider is that the RF-3's are mounted in a nice wooden box and the 5800's are encased in drywall.

Did you try them out installed, or simply hook them up? If you just hooked them up without installing them, they should have sounded like complete crap.

If you installed them, I am wondering what is behind that wall you mounted them in. Is it an open space? Is there insulation? Is it a wall between rooms or an outside wall.

All of these factors play a role in how these will sound. You would be surprised at how adding some 3" or 6" fiberglass batting insulation behind the speaker will make in improving the sound. Write back and let me know the details of your installation and perhaps I, or someone here can help.

Take care

Bronze Member
Username: Riches1

Atlanta, GA US

Post Number: 47
Registered: Apr-04
In the Paradigm price range you mentioned, the Mini Monitors would be you best choice. A pair of Mini's goes for about $380. I had a pair and they were great speakers, just a little too laid back for me. I have axioms now and think they are a great deal for the money. The M22ti's compare well to speakers costing 2 to 3 times more.
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