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Is there such a thing as a cheap but decent tower speaker?

 

edster922
Unregistered guest
I keep hearing that tower speakers would do me good in my cavernous living room, but at the same time I wanted to keep my budget under $350 for the pair. Want them mainly for music listening SQ.

Was looking at the Wharfedale Diamond 8.3 and the Mordaunt Short 902, these are both two-driver speakers though, so would they sound any different than simply putting 2-way bookshelf speakers on stands?

Any other suggestions for that price range would be warmly appreciated...thanks!
 

Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 164
Registered: Oct-04
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cmt340m/cmt340m.html

At $550 a pair these are hard to beat.
 

Gold Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 2074
Registered: Dec-03
agreed, the Ascends are excellent and I believe a much better speaker than Wharfedale Diamond 8s.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
Kano,

Thanks for the suggestion, yes those are nice indeed. How would you compare them to say Polk RTi towers in the same price range?

They're about $200 above my budget though. Have you ever listened to the Fluance towers that go for $269?
 

Gold Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 2075
Registered: Dec-03
Edster,
I have had the pleasure of auditioning the Fluance tower sm-938 and sv-10. Great value and great speakers for such a low price. I gave them as gifts for my nephews and they are absolutely raving about them, given that they visit regulary and tear up the old unc's systems.
An excellent entry level speakers for the limited budget.
cheers
 

New member
Username: Sdc

Post Number: 4
Registered: Dec-04
Paradigm esprit v3
 

New member
Username: Sdc

Post Number: 5
Registered: Dec-04
Also Tweeter is selling Polk towers on sale for $349.00pr. The Paradigm esprit v3 are I believe $399.00 and I can get 10% off so that would be just under $360.00 I don!t know if you can find them but I think either of these would be tough to beat for the money for floorstanding speakers unless you find a clearance on something or used.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
CB,

Where are you seeing the Paradigms for $360?

I'm a little iffy on the Polks---the promotional blurb emphasizes its "deep bass" as one of the main selling points which suggests that they skrimp on the mids and highs. At least that's been my experience with the Polk R20s which normally go for $200 but I got for $80 on Black Friday: great bass but lousy mids and highs, lots of distortion at high volumes.

Have to say, those Ascend towers are darn attractive because they seem GEARED specifically for mids and highs, or at least claim to be. Damn, I just might have to force myself to choke up the extra $200...
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
Berny,

So what do you think I'd be getting with the Ascend towers that the Fluance towers couldn't match? Also, how would you compare the Fluance towers with cheaper mass-market towers such as Polk and Infinity in the $300-500 range?
 

New member
Username: Sdc

Post Number: 6
Registered: Dec-04
It is a specialty store in Ma that gives 10% of retail. The speakers actually cost $399.00. It has been my experience that a lot of small specialty shops discount better than the chains I guess as a way to compete.
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 241
Registered: Sep-04
I don't know how much they cost in the US, but the Acoustic Energy Aegis EVO3 is very hard to beat here in the UK. Good room-filling ability, excellent musical ability (lots of fun), shielded so they can go near a TV. They've been discounted quite a bit lately so you may get a good deal.

Regards,
Frank.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
Frank,

They don't seem to be sold in the US---I Googled them and got six pages full of dot-co-dot-uk websites!
 

Gold Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 2087
Registered: Dec-03
The Ascends have better drivers and a lot better sound than the Fluance. You have to realize that the Fluance are inexpensive entry level speakers and comparing them with the likes of Ascend is an apples and oranges kind of thing.
The Fluance, in my opinion, however is better than the mass market speakers put out by the regular electronics maker, i.e., Sony, Kenwood, Pioneer, etc. For the price, nothing can come close to what they offer.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 172
Registered: Oct-04
The Polk Rti8s are quality speakers if you can find a good deal on them. They go 10Hz lower than the Ascends, but the drivers in the Ascends are really hard to beat at the price point.
 

Silver Member
Username: Stone

West CoastUSA

Post Number: 132
Registered: Dec-03
Acoustic Energy is definitely sold in the states. You just cannot buy them online except ebay. I have a local dealer in Seattle that carries them and they very nice speakers for the price. However the EVO3 are 700.00 a pair retail. There is a guy on ebay that is selling them cheap for 450.00. He has been selling the AE line for awhile now with good responses. I do not know how he does it so cheap.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
Stone,

So would you put the EVO3 in about the same class as the Ascend CMT340?

Where would you place the Infinity Primus 360 ($400 shipped) with respect to the Mordaunt Short 904 ($230 shipped), Diamond 8.3 and 8.4, Fluance SV-10, Athena AS-F2?

Don't mean to overload you, but these are the models I've been researching lately.
 

gavincumm
Unregistered guest
I will also vote for the Paradigm Esprit.
 

Silver Member
Username: Stone

West CoastUSA

Post Number: 133
Registered: Dec-03
Out of your group, I have only heard the wharfedale Diamonds while I was looking for new H/T speakers and was not impressed. Others like them but to me, the sound seemed closed in and a bit lifeless. Unless you get a long, risk free in-home trial, definitely buy what you can first demo.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
Stone,

Yeah, I'm gonna go to CompUSA today and get their Infinity Primus 250 for $200 to test it out, though I don't have high expectations for them.
 

New member
Username: Wolfdog22us

Post Number: 2
Registered: Dec-04
Infinity dont have high Expectations? What planet are you from edster? Anyway, a good set of Tower speakers, go with Polk R30's. They sell for around $250.00
 

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 246
Registered: Sep-04
Infinity = junk. One of the nastiest sounding speakers I have *ever* heard - and this on the end of a Lexicon MC12/Parasound combination. What an awful product.

Regards,
Frank.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
> Anyway, a good set of Tower speakers, go with Polk R30's.

You must be joking. I stupidly bought the R20s because they were dirt cheap on Black Friday at CC, $80. Good bass but lousy ragged muddy mids and highs, distorts quickly at high volumes too.

The R30s are basically R20s in a bigger cabinet, and actually CC had them for $140 on Black Friday, which might've been a fairer price for that kind of SQ.

I don't have high expectations of Infinity esp. not at the entry level stuff because they seem to be a company that was great about 20 years ago but since then have been sold a couple of times and now mainly gets by on their past laurels and name recognition, plus distribution at big chains like CC and Best Buy. Their car speakers are pretty good though.
 

edster922
Unregistered guest
Did listen to the Polk Monitor 60s today, which weren't bad, a huge improvement over the R series. Tweeter has the European version of that speaker for $350/pr. right now.

The Polk RTi8 towers though were much better, much fuller sound but basically in the Ascends' price range, almost $600/pr.
 

New member
Username: Lookingg

Post Number: 1
Registered: Dec-04
I wonder how the Fluance towers sm-938 and sv-10 stack up againts each other?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Nutopia

Post Number: 13
Registered: Aug-04
Joe, I'm wondering the same thing. I'm also in the market for speakers in the $200-350 price range and I'd love to hear a comparrison of the two Fluance speakers, which are two that I've been looking at for awhile now!

Unless someone knows of a better speaker for about $350?
 

Gold Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 2261
Registered: Dec-03
SM938 has fuller bass and midrange and the SV10 has tighter bass and about the same mids and highs as the 938.
 

New member
Username: Lookingg

Post Number: 2
Registered: Dec-04
Thanks, I pulled the trigger.

sv-10
av-sc
bipolars

Should be here on the 10th. Should do fine with my Onkyo 502 with some break in.

$500.00 including wire and shipping. I'm done with this part. $700 total for audio with the 502.

Next is projector and DVD player. Sanyo Z1 under $650.00 and a Zenith 318 dvd for $175.00 and my HT is done. Total $1525.00. Not bad...
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