Speaker Advice

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Chris KAudio, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. Chris KAudio

    Chris KAudio Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello all, I will be moving to a new apartment. The dimensions of the TV room are 11 x 17. I am looking for a good set of speakers. Not real expensive, but of good quality. Overall, with the receiver, speakers, and other equipment I want to spend under $1000.

    I will be using the speakers for my xbox, dvd's, and music. I listen to all types of music.

    What would your recommend to a guy who really has no direction on this topic?

    I was thinking standing speakers, but who knows.

    I hope somebody can help me out.

    -Chris
     
  2. Aaron_S

    Aaron_S Extra

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    Audition, audition, audition.
    It really starts there, listen to as much as you can, and go with what sounds best to you within your budget. Search around and listen to as many brands as possible. Go to as many places you can to listen, the biggest part is the audition in your home that happens once you get them into your surroundings. Good luck on the search.
     
  3. Chris KAudio

    Chris KAudio Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay Okay...

    Can you help me with the setup?

    I assume if I want a center channel 2 floor speakers, and 2 speakers on stand by the couch, that they should all be the same Brand (JBL).

    I have been looking at different reviews on this site and it looks like
    JBL S-Center and JBL S310 main speakers are in my budget... what do you think?
     
  4. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    have you heard them? i think you should get what sounds good to you. right?
     
  5. Chris KAudio

    Chris KAudio Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay I understand.

    How about this...

    Where should most of my money be going towards?

    30% - receiever
    20$ main
    10% center

    etc....

    what do you think???
    Sorry I am very new to this.

    Also, will stores have older models of speakers like some that are reviewed on this site?
     
  6. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Your speakers will be the last part to become obsolete, and they will have the greatest impact on sound quality so, IF (and only if) you don't foresee upgrading your entire setup in the near future, then I (and this is only my opinion) would go for 50-60% of my budget on speakers that I like, and fill in the rest from there. I'd avoid listening to speakers way out of my budget (thereby killing any appreciation you may have for those you do choose).

    Also, what is the priority, movies or music? Music was an overwhelming priority for me and that affected my speaker shopping significantly.

    I started with a simple Harman Kardon HKTS6, sat/sub system (399$ retail Jan. 2003) and to be honest, for movies, for me, they were fine (they will be in the secondary system when we move to our new house in the fall). If music didn't matter, I'd have waited many years for an upgrade. However, no matter how I tweaked my system, I could never find an acceptable setting for music, hence my upgrade to Boston Acoustics VR-Ms. But that's me.

    Ultimately, let your ears (and your wallet) be the guide, but determining your listening priority may help guide your decision.
     
  7. Chris KAudio

    Chris KAudio Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks a lot for your advice... it was very useful. I will be using it for 50% music 20% Tv 30% DVD's.

    I guess I would just have to wait until I listen to some.

    Where should I put my money into my speakers as far as center channel, main speakers, and surrounds?
     
  8. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    Chris,
    Like others have mentioned if you don't plan on upgrading the speakers any time soon put more of your money there like at least 50%....
     
  9. Chris KAudio

    Chris KAudio Stunt Coordinator

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    okay great... that is very helpful...

    50% to speakers
    30% to Receiver
    10% to Sub
    10% misc parts (stands, cable)

    Does that sound about right?

    PS - Thanks for all your help so far guys, most people would ignore a newbie. Thanks.
     
  10. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Since your main priority is music I would put a large portion of your speaker budget into the mains (unless you're talking multi-channel music). After that I would spend as much as possible on center/sub and if you have to lowball somewhere for the time-being, do it with the surrounds and upgrade them down the road.
     
  11. Chris KAudio

    Chris KAudio Stunt Coordinator

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    50% speakers
    - 30% front
    - 20% center
    - 10% surrounds

    That sounds pretty good to me.

    What would you guys recommend for a setup for me? I have heard that towers are better for music. I am thinking 2 tower front speakers. What do you guys think about the surrounds though? Keep in mind that I will have a hard time hiding the wires (I live in an apartment).

    -Chris
     
  12. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    What speakers have you looked at. You may need to go demo some and then come back and give us an idea of what you liked didn't like.
     
  13. Chris KAudio

    Chris KAudio Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay I actually plan on going to Ultimate Electronics to get an idea....

    I will check back later on... thanks again.
     
  14. Chris KAudio

    Chris KAudio Stunt Coordinator

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    Lets say I get two front tower speakers and a center channel. What would you recommend for the two satellites? I have a feeling that I want either a couple bookshelf speakers mounted on the wall, or a couple bookshelf speakers on stands right by the couch.
     
  15. John Tami

    John Tami Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris, let me tell you what I did, maybe that will help..maybe not. I have a large family (4 boys) so $$ is always a challenge. Recently I got a decent bonus, and decided this time it would not witter away in the checking account. I've been eyeing JBL a long time, they have had a great rep for so long, and knowing I dont have the best ears I'm sure they'd be better that I could ever totally appreciate. (have been in Aerospace last 15 years, lots of concerts in my youth, etc..) I went to Bestbuy and listened to the Northridge series, they're a lower priced version of the Studio series. (good review of them too in the just out S&V Mag!) I found driving the bookshelf units with a Sub sounded great in there with both movies and music.(I don't have room for floor standing units) I also listened to the Klipsch and Athena's. I prefered the JBL's, specially when played loud. (something they are known for)YMMV.

    So I then went to Ebay, JBL/HK run a online shop there. I figured if I loved the Northridge series, I couldn't go wrong with the Studio Series. So I won me two pair of S26II's from the JBL store, they a "reconditioned" by JBL and come with the full factory 5yr warranty...I swear I can find nothing on them that does not say "new". They came packaged and sealed exactly like ones in the store.

    MSRP of $399 a pair, I got one pair for $111, another for $138. ($26 each pair to ship) (Since the Northridge equiv is $209, I bid $200+ and made sure I won them in the last 20 seconds. Would have been happy at $200 a pair no problem!) I run 3 of these as my front stage...I know I have perfect timbre matching, and no timing errors for my secondary off access seating.

    For the rears I used the still sold new (and on Ebay) S36IIPM's....these use a molded cabinet made for hanging. Same exact Tweeter and Woofer as my S26's, they add a mid. MSRP of $550, Bestbuy online had them for $150 shipped.

    Now understand I love Movies and Music. I think the sub these days is one of the most important parts. My cheesy HTB sub taught me what a bad one sounds like. I made the decision to get one I'd never be sorry about purchasing. That was a SVS. Go to audioreview.com , there and everywhere, I cant find a compaint for SVS, cant say that for any other in my searches. So after talking to them I got a 20-39PCi..$660 shipped.....and worth much more then that! It will blow you away. From PF DSOTM shaking the entire house, to LOTR moving dishes, pant legs, and your chest hairs... (without one single crunch or booming)

    I found heaven! [​IMG]

    Know I drive this to very loud levels with the cheesy HTB Receiver/DVD player still (rated at 25W per channel with 4 ohm cubes...so thats what, 12.5 watts with my JBLs?) and am hearing notes I never knew existed in my movies and music. I will replace the receiver soon (already have a new DVD player sitting in a box still) but even now I cant wait to get home everyday and play something.

    Speakers will live with you a long time if you do good, receivers change every year with new features and must haves. Spend well on all speakers....a cheap receiver with good speakers will always sound much better then a great receiver with bad speakers....

    And if you buy a $100-$300 Sub, I'll bet you in a year you'll buy another....if you hang in here it'll be a SVS or HSU most likely too!

    The hardest part of the sell has been the wife...she was used to the cubes and even though was once Band President in HS doest much notice the difference except the SIZE! These are huge 22lb bookshelfs sitting on my TV until I get the cabinet I want..and she commented when the Sub arrived that our next water heater wont be that big! [​IMG]

    Cheers and good luck!
     
  16. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    On the towers vs bookshelves debate, I too was leaning to towers owing to my music bias, but in the end I went with bookshelves. I chose them because they were the best sounding (at my price point), not because I suddenly thought bookshelves were inherently better. It is most important to match the L/C/R speakers and the surrounds can, if need be, another series or brand, as they receive a lot less signal than the fronts.
     
  17. Chris KAudio

    Chris KAudio Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay guys I went to Ultimate Electronics this evening and there were 3 rooms of speakers. One for the big boys, one for the bigger boys, and one for me. They mainly had Infiniti and Klipsch.

    I tested everything on a Denon AVR-1804 Receiver($499.95)

    There were two sets of front speakers that I liked:

    1) INFPRIMUS 360 (Infinity Dual 6.5" 3Way MMD Floor ($299.95)

    2) KLISF1 - Klipsch Synergy Tower Speaker ($249.95)

    The satellite speakers that I liked were:

    1) KLIRSX5BLK - Klipsch Reference SAT 5.25" Woofer (199.95)

    The Sub I liked was:

    1) KLIRW8 - Klipsch ($349.95)

    I only paid attention to the speakers and not the receiever. As far as the center channel was concerned, I thought they all sounded crappy. [​IMG]

    Hopefully you guys can look at this and give me some more detailed advice now that you have seen what my ears like.

    Thanks!

    -Chris
     
  18. Chris KAudio

    Chris KAudio Stunt Coordinator

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    bump...
     
  19. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    If you're not married to the idea of towers, judging by your speaker choices, you might like the Boston Acoustics CR series. The 85s retail at 400$/pr and the 75s retail at 300$/pr (you could easily get 15% off, I should think)
    You could go with either of those as mains, with the 65s or 55s as rears (200$/pr retail, 150$/pr retail respectively) and the CRC centre (200$ retail) is said to match very well with the rest of the series.
    The speakers you say you like have a (to me) a forward, somewhat bright sound. The Bostons might be a bit more laid back, but they are quite detailed and articulate.

    In the end, your ears will decide. Good luck. I went through 8 or 9 brands and several series within each before deciding.

    You might want to look at Paradigm's Cinema series, as well.

    For the sub, the Boston PV500 retails for the same as the Klipsch, though it's a ten inch woofer. Not very powerful, though, so there are many other choices available (others in this forum know a lot more about subs than I do). The one thing in the Boston's favour is that it is likely more apartment friendly than a number of other subs in its price range, and it's fairly clean bass, within its limits.
     
  20. Travis R.

    Travis R. Agent

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    Hello Chris I see you are full throttle on getting your system going but I'll throw my 2 cents in on how I am working my HT set up. Basically I'm being very patient and instead of upgrading constantly I'm buying one set of speakers per year.

    For example I bought a good receiver with what money I could afford and ran them with my old KOSS main speakers with one blown tweeter (very frustrating) for a year then I bought my centre speaker next year, then rears year after that, then the gusto the LINN Ninka's (replacing the Koss)the following year.

    So I took the long road and am trying to purchase my system one stage at a time and maxing my money spendature per year. It takes alot longer but I'm finding that the more you spend (up to a point)on audio equipment usually the better quality you get not saying the equipment you are looking at is bad.

    Anyhow that is my experience with the HT. Also I'm finding that the longer I wait the more I can research and save money therefore allowing me to purchase exactly what I want and not say to myself I wish I could have bought the Martin Logan or the SVS or the Paradigm yadda yadda yadda. Well that is my story. Patience is my approach and feeling satisfied with my purchase when I am done.

    Don't know if that helps.

    Cheers!

    Travis
     

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