Are all speakers at Best Buy/Circuit City crap?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by BadMrFrosty, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. BadMrFrosty

    BadMrFrosty Auditioning

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    Hi there folks.

    I have decided to keep my 56" 720P High definition TV and go ahead and upgrade my sound system.

    I currently have a center and two surround speakers from an old Aiwa HTIB, I have two floor standing yamaha speakers I think they're 250w each, I have no subwoofer, and its all connected to a Yamaha reciever.. HTR-something, its so old that it only accepts and sends S-Video signals.. (it does DTS though).

    My question is, I'm looking at the:

    Pioneer VSX-1016TXV

    to replace my reciever, but I have no idea what speakers to look for..

    Would it be worth it to buy a center, two rears and a sub or just replace all of the speakers?

    I am also taking suggestions on recievers, should be in the $400-500 range, should have HDMI connectivity.

    I'm looking to spend around $1100 total.

    thanks,
    BMF
     
  2. jwill242004

    jwill242004 Stunt Coordinator

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    IMO all of the subs @ circuit city and Best buy suck, even their Velodyne's (in comparison to what you can find on the net at a similar price point) However they do carry some good main, center, and surround speakers.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Sort of. It isn't that they are all crap, it is just that for the money, you can do better online basically.

    I'd lock down the speakers first, then worry about a receiver, because the speakers make a bigger difference sound wise than the receiver (of course you can't just get a POS with nice speakers though).
     
  4. Jason Hammerly

    Jason Hammerly Supporting Actor

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    yes
     
  5. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    No.

    Their JBL/Klipsch/Polks/Boston Acoustics are what I would call the Chevys & Toyotas of the audio world. And definitely nothing to be embarrassed about.

    Bose? To me they are an entry-level Chevy with a BMW price tag. [​IMG]

    If you can, try to buy new matching front/center/rear speakers at one time for the best quality surround soundfield.

    If you buy a sub from either of those two places, I would buy a Velodyne or a Boston Acoustics.
     
  6. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Hi BMF

    The Pioneer 1016 is an excellent choice. If you must get it from a BB or CC you may pay more than if you get it from Amazon.com

    Amazon has it for less than $400 delivered.

    As the others have said, you can get more speaker for your money, (especially subwoofers), on-line compared to BB or CC.

    I would check out the HSU HB series. The HB-1 has received very good reviews.

    http://www.hsustore.com/hb-1.html

    Happy Holidays
     
  7. Phil_O

    Phil_O Stunt Coordinator

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    If you have one nearby go to a Sound Advice or smaller A/V shop and listen to some of their speakers. You'll notice a big difference, and at small audio shops you can often get a bit of a discount off the sticker price, especially if you're buying a whole package.
     
  8. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Some Best Buys have a Magnolia, and all sorts of nice speakers are sold there-- Vienna Acoustics, Martin Logan...
     
  9. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

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    Conside this...most of the time, these B&M places r great for "auditioning" stuff, i.e., buying it, testing it out if it sounds great or not then returning it with no hassle. U can do these for most of their stuff but u should be aware of any restocking fees and all. That said, I also agree with statements made here, u can do better online for less money.
     
  10. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    small audio shops give you a chance to listen to speakers in a (hopefully) quiet environment. Some of the brands available are not sold online because the company wants the salesman that set up the speakers, or answered your questions to get your money. Online sales skip the middleman, but sometimes the middleman can be helpful.

    If you believe that the showroom will exhibit profoundly different acoustics than your living room, than the audition process is not very useful, and might as well be replaced with an online dealer with a return policy. But if you want the best speaker, instead of merely an acceptable speaker, auditioning speakers in you home can be quite expensive.

    At some dealers, the really good sales are private sales-- for established customers only.
     
  11. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    Neither have any subs or speakers that interest me so the answer is kinda yes.
     
  12. BadMrFrosty

    BadMrFrosty Auditioning

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    Best Buy has it on sale for $399, with tax its less than Amazon with shipping. :)

    BMF
     
  13. BadMrFrosty

    BadMrFrosty Auditioning

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    Do you think it would be alright to get a little center and two surround speakers which match and keep my large floor standing yamaha's (I love the way they sound for music).. and I'd also grab a subwoofer...

    also do you have any specific recommendations on models I can get from BestBuy? the thing is I have a 20% discount coupon plus reward zone money to use there and I can save quite a bit of money if i shop there this weekend.

    thanks,
    BMF

    BMF
     
  14. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    BMF

    Please consider this.

    Speakers always sound different in a large showroom than they do in your listening room. They will almost always sound brighter at home than they do in a showroom.
     
  15. dany

    dany Supporting Actor

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    Better if the center matches your mains and your surrounds are not as important to match.
     
  16. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    As dany said, it would better if you bought a center that matches, or at least closely matches, your front mains.

    But........

    If you want, you can run your receiver in phantom center mode (just turn your center option to "off" or "none") and buy better surrounds and/or a better sub with the money you'll save. Myself and many other members here have our systems set up this way.

    Because personally I've found that small centers or centers that don't 100% match the fronts always call attention to themselves i.e. they do not form a cohesive front soundfield, crucial for movie soundtracks (and music too!). Even when crossed over at 100Hz or higher, no matter what brand or price point to me pretty much all small centers like those equipped with 3 or 4 inch "woofers" just sound too thin. And since much of a movie's soundtrack in concentrated there, even portions of explosions & other "big" effects, not to mention male actors' voices, that thinness translates to less realism. The only people that will really notice the lack of a center are people waaaay off to the side of the TV.

    Receivers? I would stick with Yamaha or Pioneer. I like Pioneers since they have a slightly warmer/bassier quality. This is a subtle difference but it *is* there: every company has their own circuitry which has its own sound (that's an electronic fact, not a myth) and which can react differently with different speaker designs (electronic fact #2).

    As far as a specific model, for the "average" living room 16 X 20 X 8 with carpeting and isn't one of those totally open floor plans, I would say a receiver in the $300 to $600 range would be plenty for normal listening levels. For reference level listening, which many find too loud (me included), $500 and up. All this obviously depends on how loud your speakers can get i.e. their efficiency rating. Just guessing here on past personal exprience but I'll bet those Yamahas will get VERY loud even with a $400 model.
     
  17. Luis Gabriel Gerena

    Luis Gabriel Gerena Second Unit

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    Plan to spend about 3 times more on speakers than on the receiver. Speakers will make a lot more difference to the sound than the receiver...and dont forget your room, imho as important as the speakers as just moving the speakers around make them sound totally different.
    If I were you I would stay away from BB or CC for speakers. Look into ID companies like HTD, AV123 (onix lineup),Ascend, etc for best perfomance per dolar ratio.
    Regards
     
  18. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    I grabbed quite a few peices from the original Athena Audition series when BB was closing them out some time ago. Nothing I've seen lately in the increasingly anemic audio section would make it into my HT.
     
  19. Jason Hammerly

    Jason Hammerly Supporting Actor

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    That's my feeling Jack. They charge a premium for low end Klipsch and run of the mill JBL speakers. Not that JBL speakers are bad ... I was joking when I said all the stuff they sell is crap ... or Klipsch for that matter, but for the prices they charge, I sure wouldn't buy them there.
     
  20. Bob_Chase

    Bob_Chase Stunt Coordinator

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    +1 for Boston Acoustics.

    Certainly more Toyota (re: high-quality) than Chevy though.
     

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