Recently, I started shopping around for a pair of speakers for a main-floor, "background music" stereo set-up. The intent was to buy something that's WAF-friendly (i.e., looks nice and is fairly discrete - massive towers need not apply), that sounds good and that doesn't cost too much money.
I auditioned the following:
- Castle Knight 3:
Handsome, compact towers; big sound; crisp but muted highs (i.e., not as bright as I like); a little weak on bass; reasonably-priced.
- B&W 684:
Beautiful speakers (w/ grill off; a bit more regular-looking w/ grills on); full, rich sound (not surprising, given their larger drivers and cabinets); a little pricier than I was looking to spend.
- PSB Image T5:
Clean, mainstream look; full, decent sound; reasonably priced; a touch on the large size (although smaller than the B&Ws).
- Totem Sttaf:
Small, elegant towers; impressive sound; a little too bright (brighter, even, than my Paradigm Monitor 7s); a little weak on bass; relatively pricey.
- Mordaunt-Short Carnival 6:
Simple but attractive look; big sound; better bass than Castles, on par with Totems; very reasonably-priced (MSRP is roughly 1/3 the MSRP of the Sttafs).
This afternoon, I ended up buying a pair of floor-model M-S Carnival 6s from Distinctive Audio
, one of two M-S retailers in Ottawa. Aside from a little dust on them, they're in mint condition, they sound great and they were roughly 20% off the MSRP. Sweet.
Now it's time to find a nice little integrated amp...