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mkoenn

RB-81 II or RB-61 II for small room stereo music

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I'm making a 2 channel stereo listening setup for a relatively small bedroom.  I have RF-82 II towers in my living room that I absolutely love, and I'm trying to get that same sound in a smaller room.  I'm leaning towards the RB-61 II because the room is quite small, and I worry that the RB-81 II's will be too much for the small room.  On the other hand, I'm concerned that the RB-61 II's won't have the same dynamic, vibrant sound that I like in my RF-82 II's and I would need the RB-81 II's to get closer to that sound.

 

Can anyone who has heard these speakers comment on how the RB-61 II compares to the RB-81 II?  Or even better, can anyone comment on how either of these speakers will compare to the RF-82 II?  I'm really mostly interested in whether they can recreate the forward, vibrant sound from the RF-82 II.  In particular, acoustic guitars just sound absolutely fantastic on the RF-82 II's, like they're right there in the room with you and you can really hear each string in the guitar, etc.

 

I know the only real way to figure this out is to try both and see which one I like more.  Unfortunately, it's pretty inconvenient for me to audition both.  I would have to order them and then send back the ones that didn't work.  I could do that, but I always feel guilty about buying things knowing that I'm probably just going to send it back.  Plus it's a hassle.

 

Thanks in advance for any feedback you all have.

Edited by mkoenn

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I would take the RB-81 II's. I've tried them already once at home and they are very friendly at small spaces. Compared with my RP-280F they are much better when it's about

bass nodes into the room. So I think, there shouldn't be a problem with them.

 

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@mkoenn,

 

Welcome to the forum.  

 

Under most conditions I would suggest you buy the largest speakers(bookshelf) you can afford, which in this case would be the RB-81II's.  But,  I think the RB-61II's are such wonderful speakers that they sure can hold their own in a smallish room.  Again, if you can afford the 81II's get them.

 

Bill

 

 

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I personally find the rp160ms to be better than either.  I dont think a bookshelf by itself can match an rf82 without subs no matter which bookshelf u choose, the low end extension and double 8inch woofer are superior when used without subs.   If u are seeking that punchy solid sound with music i dont think you can fully replicate it.  However,  ive had rf52s, which you can find quite cheap, or rf62s and i think you would then have a winner that would be much more manageable sizewise and still get excellent low end extension and punch, they are part of the same series as the 82s.  

 

Used u can find either of those rfs for the same or less than rb81s

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I found some RB-61 II's at a local store, so I bought them to try them out.

 

The overall sound is very similar to the RF-82 II.  It has maybe 80% of the presence and dynamism of the RF-82 II.  The biggest difference is the bass.  The quality of the bass isn't quite as good as the 82's, but it's still better than most other speakers I've listened to, bookshelf or tower.  It's more boomy and less defined than the bass from the 82's.  And tonal balance is weighted heavier towards the bass in the 61 than the 82.  I played some folk rock like Ray LaMontagne where the bass is usually a bit subdued compared to the mids and treble, but it was pretty in-your-face on the 61's.  If I tried playing hip hop or anything with more bass, the bass was just overpowering.  I wonder if the RB-81 II's would have a better tonal balance.  The difference in room acoustics could be playing a role in this as well.  It's a small, carpeted room compared to my mid-size living room with wood flooring.

 

It's a pretty great speaker overall, but when I listen to it all I think is "man, this song would sound so good if I went and listened to it on the 82's".  Maybe I'll try an RB-81 or some speakers by some other brands and see if there's something else compelling out there.

 

For the record, I was using the same amp/pre-amp in both the living room and bedroom setup so that it was more of a fair comparison (Parasound P3 and A23).  The acoustics are dramatically different between the 2 rooms so it's still not really a fair comparison.

Edited by mkoenn

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Regarding the RP-160M's, I was leaning towards the RB series because when I did a comparison between the RF-82 II and the RP-280F, I actually preferred the RF-82 II.  The RP-280F had better imaging and was smoother, but I felt it lost a little bit of the presence of the RF-82 II.  The RF-82 II can get a little harsh at times, and on songs with heavy highs I usually have to keep it turned down because it's too harsh.  The harshness was less pronounced in the RP-280F, which was nice, but I still preferred the 82's.

 

Maybe the RP-160M would be a better choice for a bedroom speaker, though.  I think they have them on display nearby so I can go check it out.

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used rf52s or 62s....i know from experience.  u want that extension down into the 30s thats the cheapway to get almost identical to the 82s without the huge cabinets.  honestly 52s will crush the rb81s or 61s imo.

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7 hours ago, mkoenn said:

It's a pretty great speaker overall, but when I listen to it all I think is "man, this song would sound so good if I went and listened to it on the 82's".  Maybe I'll try an RB-81 or some speakers by some other brands and see if there's something else compelling out there.

If you are anywhere near these, do yourself a favor and get them, NOW.

 

If not in area, work out a "Pony Express" if you have to.

 

Bill

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For the price (drop) of the 81's, they'd be the better option, if comparing only to the 61's.  Floors/towers, as others have noted can be a better option depending upon: specs, space, budget, etc.

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Thanks for the advice everyone! I guess I thought that bookshelf speakers might sound about as good as towers in a smaller room, but I think you're right that they just won't perform the way towers can. I think I could make some small towers work.

Thanks again for all the input. It really helped!!!

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

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6 minutes ago, mkoenn said:

Thanks for the advice everyone! I guess I thought that bookshelf speakers might sound about as good as towers in a smaller room, but I think you're right that they just won't perform the way towers can. I think I could make some small towers work.

Thanks again for all the input. It really helped!!!

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
 

If you are adding a subwoofer to the mix then bookshelves can sound about as good or even better than floor standing speakers.

 

Bill

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