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View Full Version : Need shelf stereo to go with my Squeezebox. Recommendations?



lmegliol
2008-01-29, 13:24
I plan on getting another Squeezebox to go in our living room soon. There is no stereo system in that room, so I have been looking for something to connect the Squeezebox to. I was hoping someone here might have some recommendations.

Wishlist:
- Something relatively small, like a shelf or executive system. Though I will consider smaller component systems, if necessary.
- Should have good sound with enough power to fill a 15x30 feet.
- Optical digital input or digital coax input to connect to the Squeezebox.
- Under $300, but the closer to $200 the better.
- CD player (don't want multi-disc, but it won't disqualify a candidate)
- Will look good in a living room. I don't want a boombox or something like looks like it is about to transform into a robot.

Would be nice but not required:
- Additional aux input for iPod. Don't need a dock, but if the unit matches other requirements and has a dock, great.

I have only found one unit that even comes close to this so far, and I believe it is over $700.

Years ago I bought a small JVC executive stereo for a couple hundred dollars. It had a digital optical input, cd player, etc. Pretty much met the specs all around, but that is no longer made.

I've checked brick-and-mortar chains, major online retailers and a couple of the manufacturers sites directly, but haven't found it yet.

Any recommendations? If you have similar requirements, what do you use?

jeffmeh
2008-01-29, 13:36
If you run the SB3 digitally into some $300 unit, you are unlikely to get comparable sound quality to the SB3's analog outputs. You may wish to consider powered speakers, like the Audioengines or Aego-M's.

maggior
2008-01-29, 14:40
Aiwa used to make awesome sounding bookshelf systems. I have one in my bedroom. They had everything you mention except for the digital input. I don't know if Aiwa makes these types of systems any more. I think I paid $120 for mine 3 or 4 years ago. It still works quite well and sounds great.

Klipsch makes some great sounding products designed for the iPod. I have an iGrooveHG that sounds incredible. They have another version now that is more modestly priced (~$150). Though they are designed for an iPod, they do have a line in jack (analog, not digital). One of these could work well for you too.

SuperQ
2008-01-29, 14:52
I'll second the audioengine speakers.. Listening to a pair right now. :)

Don't worry, you'll soon forget what a CD player is.

bobkoure
2008-01-29, 18:46
A CD player is for when your home network is down...

lmegliol
2008-01-29, 20:50
The CD player is really only for when some luddite brings a CD over.

The only problem with powered speakers is that we'd still like to listen to over-the-air radio sometimes. Not all stations we'd like to listen to have streaming services, unfortunately.

Thanks for the input so far. Any others?

Skunk
2008-01-29, 21:30
I don't want a boombox or something like looks like it is about to transform into a robot.


Then don't get it from Sharper Image (like my girlfriend did). If only blue light really did equal better sound...

Anyway, there are a lot of 'micro systems' listed at c|net: http://reviews.cnet.com/4566-6465_7-0.html?filter=500891_5419145_ (if the link doesn't work you can search google for "micro stereo review" and see it near the top).

Patrick Dixon
2008-01-30, 02:11
I suspect that requirements 1 & 3 are mutually exclusive, so I reckon you'd be best concentrating your spend on the bits that will make most difference to the sound quality. Therefore the Audioengines (I haven't heard them) or similar sound like a good idea.

You can get CD by sticking in your computer, iPod access in a similar fashion, and radio through the SB3 - so what more do you need?

ob_kook
2008-01-30, 02:35
I'm going to have to throw in with the powered speakers crowd. You simply get more of your money going towards the quality of sound that way. What you give up is the ability to play CD's and potentially a couple of local radio stations that do not stream (YET).

On the other hand, you can listen to so many more stations from all over the world, that you might not even miss em!

bpa
2008-01-30, 02:58
Just for an alternative - a Tivoli One or Two would provide Radio as well as speaker although maybe not enough volume for the size of room. A black Tivoli would match well with a Duet/SBR.

If you go for powered speakers but still need FM/AM radio from the SB, add a Tuner card or a Griffin Radio Shark to the PC running Slimserver/SqueezeCenter.

utowana
2008-01-30, 05:56
I have a Tivoli Model Two at work and listen all day. I would not hesitate to pair it up with a SB (great for the den or home office), and you get the radio over the air benefit. Having said that, and a nice as the Tivoli is, it can't compare with the pleasure I get from my Audioengine's (bedroom) and Aego's (kitchen). They are simply better.

BTW: the Tivoli subwoofer is a sexy buy not crucial addition. It is really subtle and has not radically changed my listening experience with the Model Two.

Lou1z
2008-01-30, 11:05
utowana,
which of the above speakers are better in your opinion. i'm about to buy for a bedroom and leaning towards the a2's.

Ur[s]uS
2008-01-30, 14:05
another vote for the tivolis - i have model one in the kitchen - two words: perfect fit

lhmperth
2008-01-30, 19:50
I would also recommend some powered speakers.

I use Harman Cardon Soundsticks II. They look and sound great. They would also fit into your budget.

utowana
2008-01-31, 04:27
Lou1z:

I'm not an audiophile - I don't have the vocabulary to describe like a magazine reviewer. I use all of the speakers in the house for jazz, orchestral and opera. I have a set of Audioengine 5's and Aego M's.

Probably not fair to compare the A2 systems directly ($199 vs $350) directly. Still, a short assessment. The Aego M's are brighter, not as balanced, but pump out amazing sound for the size and price. You have to adjust the subwoofer down a bit unless you are a rocker. The Audioengine 5's are a nice value. can't speak to the 2's. Had the 5's before the 2's came out. More finesse with the Audioengines. Both are speakers that do extremely well in their price range....don't expect studio reference experiences...just put em in the right environment and just smile when your friends rave.

lmegliol
2008-01-31, 17:33
Not knowing much about speakers and the power they put out, which of the AudioEngine speakers might be a good match for the room I have (15ft. x 30ft.)?

twylie
2008-01-31, 17:42
Not knowing much about speakers and the power they put out, which of the AudioEngine speakers might be a good match for the room I have (15ft. x 30ft.)?

That's a large room. I'd suggest the A5's.

buelligan
2008-02-01, 10:50
Check out the Quest for Sound tubed table radios.

http://www.questforsound.com/tuners/tuners_R601S-S.htm

I don't know if it would jive with your decor, but it sure is distinctive and very high performance as well.

Lou1z
2008-02-01, 12:56
well,
i bit the bullet and bought the a2's and if they're as good as they say, i'll have a set of a5's by the end of the week for another room.
one thing on a review troubled me..... set the equalizer etc as the bass was considered a bit too much for some.
i can't see it anyway on sc7 but can the output be adjusted should i need it to be?

radish
2008-02-01, 13:12
i can't see it anyway on sc7 but can the output be adjusted should i need it to be?
SB1 has bass/treble control, more recent models do not. You can use the Ignuz plugin to do tone control provided you have a decently powerful server.

Lou1z
2008-02-04, 13:15
well, i have to say i'm impressed with the sound and build etc. i'm no audiophile but i can certainly hear more seperation in the sound and not a din as such. i can have them louder and clearer but not making such a racket if you know what i mean.
i think i may try the a5's in a week or so.

for my kitchen, i'm looking for something that can be hidden eg on a bracket or something like that fastened to the bottom of the kitchen cupboards and sort of hidden by the plinth.

these will be connected to a hidden duet receiver.

anyone any ideas?

halo
2008-02-05, 18:12
Hct Hms 100

DEMO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqQ5Vw9td3Q

oktup
2008-02-06, 05:34
uS;264122']another vote for the tivolis - i have model one in the kitchen - two words: perfect fit

Don't know what's going on with Tivoli's distribution, but one local independent shop has stopped selling them, and John Lewis don't list them on their website anymore. However, they (JL) seem to be doing end-of-line clearance on them instore, so I've just picked up a Black & Silver Model One Platinum (link (http://www.tivoliaudio.com/product.php?productid=170&cat=262&page=1)) for 80 squid. So if anyone else is interested, might be worth giving your local branch a try.

In terms of colour and size it should hopefully be a good match with my SB3. Initial inspection left me a little disappointed with the build quality though; the tuner dial wasn't flush to the unit, but rather at a slight angle, and could therefore be 'wobbled' (pushed in) somewhat. Also, the dial was about 0.5FMs (sic) out of alignment. When I returned to exchange it, all 4 units in the shop had the wobbly dial problem, so I guess this is standard? :(

In all other aspects it looks very nice though. Will report back on audio quality when I've got it set up and given it a bit of listening. Despite appreciating the logic behind it, the prospect of not having stereo output is a little unsettling, I must admit ;)

amrace
2008-02-06, 06:00
Has anyone seen or heard the B&W Zeppelin active speaker. It's designed for the iPod but also has analog and optical digital inputs.


http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/display.aspx?infid=2466#pagterid2467

It costs around 400

Ur[s]uS
2008-02-07, 16:24
Don't know what's going on with Tivoli's distribution, but one local independent shop has stopped selling them, and John Lewis don't list them on their website anymore. However, they (JL) seem to be doing end-of-line clearance on them instore, so I've just picked up a Black & Silver Model One Platinum (link (http://www.tivoliaudio.com/product.php?productid=170&cat=262&page=1)) for 80 squid. So if anyone else is interested, might be worth giving your local branch a try.

In terms of colour and size it should hopefully be a good match with my SB3. Initial inspection left me a little disappointed with the build quality though; the tuner dial wasn't flush to the unit, but rather at a slight angle, and could therefore be 'wobbled' (pushed in) somewhat. Also, the dial was about 0.5FMs (sic) out of alignment. When I returned to exchange it, all 4 units in the shop had the wobbly dial problem, so I guess this is standard? :(

In all other aspects it looks very nice though. Will report back on audio quality when I've got it set up and given it a bit of listening. Despite appreciating the logic behind it, the prospect of not having stereo output is a little unsettling, I must admit ;)

thanks for tip, will keep eyes peeled
wonder is there new model on the way?
had same stereo concern, but in kitchen not such a problem (for me anyway)