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Sony speaker quality


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#1 of 6 Dan Rudolph

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Posted November 16 2008 - 10:46 AM

I posted some speaker questions on HighDef Digest and was told that Sony audio products are all crap and I'd be better off buying much cheaper off-brand speakers? Can anyone confirm/deny?

This is for a roughly 15'x18' (4.5mx5.5m) dedicated theater room and I'd like to keep my total for all eight speakers under $600 if possible. The plan was to use a SA-w2500 sub, a pair of ss-f6000 for fronts, a ss-cn5000 center and two pairs ss-b3000 for surrounds.

The center bottoms out at 85 Hz. Is that anything to be concerned about?

I don't know a lot about speakers, but I have taken college-level acoustics so can understand the principles. To put it in a n00b way, beyond the specs, whic I do understand and which make the Sonys look pretty good, how do I tell a good speaker from a bad one short of A/B comparisons which can be difficult/impossible to set up? Is there soem reliable review source that doesn't try to get you to buy magical $300 power cords?
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#2 of 6 SethH

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Posted November 16 2008 - 11:29 AM

Well, I generally hesitate to make a blanket statement that all audio products of a given brand are crap. But, in general, with Sony's lower-end equipment that tends to be true. They have produced some quality receivers in the higher-end of their line, but their lower-end stuff, which includes most, if not all, of their speakers, is of questionable quality.

Check out the Hsu Performance 1 Package setup which includes their VT-12 speakers and STF-2 subwoofer for $549. You might also check out Athena Micra-6 setup, but I think the Hsu setup would serve you better.

#3 of 6 Dan Rudolph

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Posted November 16 2008 - 01:14 PM

Somebody there suggested the Performance 2. I just have a hard time believing you can get decent range out of speakers that seem to be the same size as my current RCA set.
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#4 of 6 sdguy55

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Posted November 16 2008 - 02:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Rudolph
Somebody there suggested the Performance 2. I just have a hard time believing you can get decent range out of speakers that seem to be the same size as my current RCA set.
I dont know quite what you mean by 'range' but there are so many variables that determine how a speaker will sound in a given room its sickening, a few of them are sensitivity, the way the enclosure is made, what the speaker is made out of, just to list a few things.

#5 of 6 LanceJ

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Posted November 16 2008 - 08:19 PM

I've listened to the previous version of those SS-B3000 models w/my own music in a store HT demo set up and while they didn't amaze me with incredible sound, they also didn't have any particularly irritating qualities & so were pleasant to listen to (compared to certain major brands that tout their accuracy and feel like icepicks in my ears with anything but excellent recordings). That may sound like faint praise but actually it takes engineering know-how to take inexpensive materials and make them sound decent and not include piercing/ragged high frequencies or overly boomy bass (Henry Kloss did this all the time with the brands he started, especially with Advent & KLH).

This is just me but having experimented with this myself, personally I would rather use larger/slightly lower-quality speakers than a set of tiny/higher-quality speakers. Larger speakers (i.e. those with a woofer 6.5" and above) IMO tend to create a more smoothly integrated and more coherent surround soundfield, while most little speakers I have listened to that fit in your hand w/crossovers around 150Hz (80Hz? forget it) sound more like separate channels placed all around you..........and I believe raising the crossover point on the subwoofer will not cure that effect.

As far as the center channel is concerned, for the same reason in the above paragraph, you could use a single B3000 for that, laying on its side if you don't have any space issues.

And most Sony subs I've heard, for their price, surprisingly sounded quite good and their only drawback was that they didn't generate high *levels* of bass & probably can't rattle plates off the shelf in the kitchen (bass is tricky: quality sound + lots of volume = $$$). The drivers in their subs look similar to their car sub drivers i.e. thick sturdy cones and large rubber surrounds.

All the above IMHO. Posted Image

#6 of 6 Philip Hamm

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Posted November 17 2008 - 01:50 AM

In the mid-90s I picked up a pair of SONY tower speakers at their outlet. I don't remember the model number, they are simple three way speakers with a 10" woofer and three paper cones, no fancy tweeter or anything. 15+ years later they still sound fine in my bedroom 5.1 system. I see no reason to make the generalization that sony = crap. My pair was made in USA.
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