Budget bookshelf system for acoustic bass

Need help deciding on a speaker system. I listen to mostly acoustic Jazz and am looking for a system that accurately reproduces the lush harmonics of the string bass and the clean timbres of brass and cimbles. Problem is it needs to be a bookshelf system and my budget is around $600 - 800. Do folks think I need a subwoofer or will a monitor with good response down to 40 or 45 hz suffice for the string bass? Obviousky if I go with a sub there wilk be some loss of coherence and I don't want a thumper to shake the room with HT special effects.

My system is a Linn Classic, Music Halll MMF-5 TT with Goldring 1012GX cartrige and Bellari VP129 pre-amp.

I'm thinking of three very different aproaches. 1) Magnepan MC-1 with a sub like the PSB SubSeries 5i or the Infinity PS10. 2) A budget monitor like the NHT SB3, PSB B25 or Infinity Primus 150. 3) One of the above monitors above with one of the above subs

Any suggestions? Thanks, PDenni
I forgot about these: any of the Audio Note speakers (type K, J, and E) are wonderful and excel at things like acoustic bass. In fact, the J and E types can be run without subs; the type E can run to mid 20s and is very efficient.

The Type E speakers range in price (new) from 3500 to ...well, a damned lot of money. A used pair is the way to go. They are hardly "bookshelf" speakers, though, as they are fairly large box speakers and a two way design with a 8" woofer and a dome tweeter.

I have owned the K and the J and listened to the E extensively. They are all wonderfully "musical" and should be on the short list of anybody looking for a quality speaker.
08-05-05: Pabelson
"There's no such thing as a monitor that goes down to 40 Hz."

Actually you are mistaken. The Totem Mani-2 extends below 40Hz and is a Monitor.

I like the Vandersteen 2W suggestion. It's reputed to be very discreet and musical.

Your Classik won't drive Totems and certainly not the Mani-2's, which do indeed have great bass for any speaker and amazing bass for monitors.

I don't believe the B&Ws' efficiency is optimum for the Classik either, although Gmueller's placement advice is certainly worth taking IME. My dad recently passed on a pair of 602's in favour of the Triangle Titus ES, for use with his Classik.

( For more reading on placement try the FAQ at AA. Scroll down to "Speaker Positioning". Nothing directly on bookshelf placement, unfortunately.) http://www.AudioAsylum.com/scripts/d.pl?audio/faq.html

String bass goes very low--that's why they call it double bass. The Mani-2's can do it, I've heard them, but they need first class (expensive, clean, high-watt) amplification. Monitor speakers need to be extraordinarily well designed to put out real low bass. The Mani-2 has a second woofer inside the box. Transmission lines can work well to get low notes from a small cone, but there are not too many of these made for a bookshelf.Your best bet may indeed be a good sub, but remember matching a sub to monitors seamlessly is hard.

If you could go for small floorstanders, I'd suggest the Meadowlark Kestrel Hot Rod, used. Meadowlark did make a transmission line monitor, the Vireo, but I've never heard it.

If I were in your shoes I would take low-frequency output if I could get it, but before everything I would look for speed and accuracy. These make rhythm, and a nice bass line, easy to follow.
Let me rephrase that. It takes heroic meaures to pull it off, and such measures are not found in the $600-800 price range. I'll stick to my recommendation of a small monitor and a sub. Otherwise, you're likely to hear that bass fade out as it runs down a descending scale.

Let me comment on one other point from another post:

the 'typical' bass has a lowest frequency of about 42Hz

If I recall, that's the low end of an electric bass, but full-size acoustic basses go down into the low 30s or high 20s, I believe. You don't need a speaker that goes that low, necessarily. But one that claims to roll off at 50 Hz (and probably really rolls off a good deal higher than that--bass claims for speakers are notoriously unreliable) may not cut it for you.

A lot depends on your room and your set-up, however, and that probably goes double for bass issues. Whatever way you go, be absolutely sure to try it out at home with full return privileges. The best we can give you is general guidelines, and a speaker that couldn't cut it in your living room might be all you need in a bedroom.