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Sony STR-K900 Sub or Towers


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#1 of 15 imp3r10

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Posted August 27 2009 - 04:01 AM

Hello, I have a Sony STR-K900 reciever and right now I just have the sub that comes with it and 2 cheap towers. I have all the original surround speakers but I am looking into getting either 2 new towers or a new sub.


This is for my college frat room, but I still want good sound. The room is mostly rectangular and built out of concrete blocks, if that changes anything. I am not the person that wants cheap stuff so I can here to find whats best.


I was looking into Klipsch sub-woofers and towers, as I have a sub at my home and it sounds really nice.


The receiver has an A and B speaker hookups, and I was thinking about putting the towers on B so that I will still have true surround when I'm gaming and watching movies. I'm not sure if you have to match up impedance or wattage with the speaker ports to the speakers so again, that's why I came here.


I am looking to spend about $200-$300 on a sub and about $300-$400 on a pair of towers. I was looking on eBay for better deals.

All the help you could give is appreaciated.


#2 of 15 MaxL

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Posted August 27 2009 - 01:46 PM

 ok a few ideas:
1- don't bother with towers at all in this price range.  get a new set of fronts, mains and center.  you'll run into sound problems if your center doesn't match your mains.  you can afford a decent set of front 3 speakers in your $300-400 budget.  i'd consider psb alpha b1/c1 combo from saturday audio, but there are many good choices to be had, svs and aperion a couple worth a look too.
2- the a/b speaker thing could be done, but upgrading the front 3 speakers will eliminate the need to do this as 2-channel music will only come through the new, better fronts anyway, and you'll benefit from better surround sound to boot.  don't worry about matching wattage, especially in this price range.  impedance is more important but again unlikely that your going to get 4ohm speakers at this price point.
3- i would upgrade the speakers before the sub and ideally wait till you can afford a bit more for the sub.  there are decent upgrade available below $450 or so but this is where you start to get into what i'd consider the cheapest really good sub category, things like the entry svs pb10 and now the martin logan dynamo.  
4- the room is what it is but it might be worth throwing a $100-200 in acoustic room treatments like a bass trap or two if there's not much on the walls.  you could have a very active room which can detract significantly from quality you get from any given system.  then again, you looking for a low budget setup for college so is it worth doing???

good luck

HT: Marantz SR8000, PSB Alpha B fronts, Alpha C center, CSW Newton S200 surrounds, Martin Logan Dynamo Sub, Marantz DVD, Sony CRT TV

Stereos include vintage Sony receivers/amps into vintage AR and KEF speakers.

#3 of 15 imp3r10

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Posted August 28 2009 - 06:58 AM

Thanks for your reply MaxL. So I should prob get 3 good front/center speaker instead? Should I be getting speakers with more than 1 driver?

Any links to some examples of what I should get?

I think we are just gonna keep our room the same, we just want a nice loud setup for parties.



#4 of 15 MaxL

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Posted August 28 2009 - 03:35 PM

 you want typical bookshelf speakers for main l/r speakers most likely.  these will probably be 2-way (1 woofer, 1 tweeter) bass reflex speakers (ported).  something like this.  but you may try a sealed design (i often prefer sealed speakers) like this.  for the center you will probably be looking at a speaker with 2 woofers and a tweeter in the middle like this.  

so i'd recommend either of these lines - the psb or svs, both potentially within your budget.  for the psb, you'd have to take advantage of the saturday audio sale with the center @$99, you could even opt for 3 of these.  another goofy but potentially very good option could be the csw model 6, currently $99/pair, so you could get 2 pair and have an extra speaker for...?  or get 3 pair and replace all 5 speakers.  potential downsides to this are these speakers are significantly larger than your standard bookshelf and there's no matching center so you have to use the exact same speaker for your center (this is objectionable to some and can make placement tricky).  also, the psb's sound better hands down.  (i own and like both speakers.)  any of them will play plenty loud.  you'll get a little more bass from the model 6's, but still need a sub in the long run.  another plus to the model 6's might be that you can fit at least 6 16oz plastic cups on top of one whereas your average bookshelf speaker will only support four.  never listened to the svs myself but the company's well respected around here.

good luck

HT: Marantz SR8000, PSB Alpha B fronts, Alpha C center, CSW Newton S200 surrounds, Martin Logan Dynamo Sub, Marantz DVD, Sony CRT TV

Stereos include vintage Sony receivers/amps into vintage AR and KEF speakers.

#5 of 15 imp3r10

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Posted August 29 2009 - 03:47 AM

1. I looked at the link's you gave me and I like the Alpha C1 but how can I buy it online?

2. If I can't is there a place to buy the center speaker that goes with the model 6, as I would like a dedicated center channel, or would it not really matter since its in a concrete room(or is a dedicated center channel only needed for audiophiles, as at my house we have 5 Klipsch R-3650-W as our speakers)?

3. Also I've read that you want to keep the center and mains the same brand and series or it will affect how it sounds as you go from left to right, will this also not be an affect due to the concrete room?

4. Also second thought, just saw that there was the SVS in main and center that I could pick up in a pack. How well do these sound and is the bass from them decent?

5. You did say that the model 6 would give more bass which is a plus as our sub isn't that powerful. If you could find a center channel to go with the model 6's that would be great

or

6. what if I bought 3 pairs and hooked 2 into center?

sorry for all the questions, when it comes to spending money I want to make  sure I have the best buy.


#6 of 15 gene c

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Posted August 29 2009 - 04:05 AM


Quote:
1. I looked at the link's you gave me and I like the Alpha C1 but how can I buy it online?
 

Not sure I unerstand the question. AudioAdvisor has them PSB-Alpha-C-1 .




Quote:
6. what if I bought 3 pairs and hooked 2 into center?

 
 





Don't try this. If you buy three pair then just use one speaker for the center and put the other in a closet (or sell it to someone else doing the same thing). In fact, it's better to use the exact same speaker in all locations even though most of us, myself included, buy the center channel speaker. I hope that made sense!. A single exact matching bookshelf (standing straight up, not laying on it's side) is thought to be a better center channel.

"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#7 of 15 imp3r10

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Posted August 29 2009 - 04:23 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by gene c 









Don't try this. If you buy three pair then just use one speaker for the center and put the other in a closet (or sell it to someone else doing the same thing). In fact, it's better to use the exact same speaker in all locations even though most of us, myself included, buy the center channel speaker. I hope that made sense!. A single exact matching bookshelf (standing straight up, not laying on it's side) is thought to be a better center channel.

Alright, judging by your post count you either know what you are talking about, or you just spam a lot (JK). But thank your for your quick reply.

So I'm guessing buying 3 pairs of those Model 6 would be the best bet for my budget?

I know that music is 2 channel but if I use my receiver to transfer sound to all 5(7 including b) speakers would it still sound as good as just using the main/center or would less total power be coming through?
 



#8 of 15 imp3r10

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Posted August 29 2009 - 04:32 AM

Thanks for your quick reply gene c.

I was referring to buying the Alpha C1 from Saturday Audio online.

So, buying 3 pairs of the Model 6 is my best bet for my price range? I'm not exactly going for the audiophile room, but I just want loud crisp sound. If I use the same speaker for all 5 inputs, it will be as loud as with a dedicated center?

Also, using my receiver to broadcast sound through all speakers, will it be as loud as just using the front 3?



#9 of 15 imp3r10

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Posted August 29 2009 - 04:49 AM

please delete post


#10 of 15 gene c

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Posted August 29 2009 - 05:59 AM

Looks like you're dealing with a couple of different issues here. 1st, loud. 2nd, sound quality and  how the sound is distributed.

1st: if loud is what you're after then you want speakers with a high spl (sound pressure level). Those 6's have a 90db spl which is on the high side (the range is usually 85db to 92db). Some Klipsch and other speakers with horn loaded (same principle as cupping your hands around your mouth) tweeters are 94 to as high as 98 or more. They say a 3db increase is twice as loud but in reality it's louder but not that much. Also, your amp of course plays a part in this. I'm afraid Sony's consumer level receivers aren't quite as strong as they say they are. If yours states 110 wpc x7 more than likely it's 60 x 2, 35 x 5 and <30 x7. These numbers are just a guess but from reading mag reviews and test results they're not that far off. Most receivers way over-state ther're capabilities. Sometimes good old fashioned two channel stereo produces the best over-all results. But using the A-B speakers might produce lower volume levels because some receivers use the same two channels to power both A and B at the same time. Using the 5/7 Channel Stereo setting, if your avr has it, would probably produce a higher volume level but most feel the sound quality isn't quite right. 

2nd: Using the A/B speakers at the same time won't really give you surround sound, just 2 ch stereo from 2 separate locations. Much like 5/7 ch stereo which is why most don't care for it. But with 5/7 ch, you're using the full output of the receiver. With A/B you're probably only using part of it. You would want to use Dolby ProLogic or DTS Neo:6 for a better representation of surround sound. But the volume would suffer because in those setting the surrounds are used for ambience, not volume.

This is all a compromise. For a loud "frat party" thing I think high sensetivity speakers and the 5/7 ch stereo is your best bet. For sound quality switch to ProLogic/Neo:6. Using the front three only can sound quite good, too.

And yes, the CSW Model 6's would be a fine choice but so would the PSB's though quite a bit more expensive.

PartsExpress.com has quite a few decent subs in your price range. Don't be afraid to buy on-line. We do it all the time around here. And Monoprice.com is a great place to buy good quality cables/wires on the cheap.

 
Quote:
Alright, judging by your post count you either know what you are talking about, or you just spam a lot (JK). But thank your for your quick reply.
 



Well, I guess it depends on who you ask.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#11 of 15 gene c

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Posted August 29 2009 - 06:36 AM

BTW, as for not using two bookshelves as a single center channel it's been bandied about many times before. Two end-to-end, one on top of the display and one below it, one on each side. In all instances it didn't work very well for one reason or another. Using a single speaker, be it bookshelf or traditional center is usually the best way to go. And laying a bookshelf on it's side changes it's tonal balance. Standing it up assures it will match the other speakers perfectly. Maybe it doesn't look quite right but it performs better.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#12 of 15 David Willow

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Posted August 29 2009 - 08:01 AM

I can't believe I'm about to say this, but here goes...  /img/vbsmilies/htf/laugh.gif

If you want loud and that "thump" you get from most frat house music setups, look around for a pair of Cerwin Vega speakers you can afford.  I would never recommend them for home theater, but it seems like they may be perfect for your usage. 

Second option would be use your existing speakers (book shelf or towers) and get a decent subwoofer.  SVS has one for about $430 (anything cheaper you prolly should go with the CV's).


#13 of 15 imp3r10

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Posted August 29 2009 - 12:36 PM

Thanks for your input guys.

1. I still will be using true surround for when I play PS3 and games and watch movies.

2. I am probably going to buy all of this online so if you guys have any links to speakers, please post them. I go to school in South Dakota, so inventory is limited in town.

3. Do you have a link to any good main/center Cerwin Vega speakers, David?


#14 of 15 gene c

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Posted August 29 2009 - 01:05 PM

Check TheNerds.com. I've bought from them before. They also sell BIC speakers like the DV-64 which you might be interested in.

Amazon is always a great place to window shop and I like to use shopping sites like PriceGrabber.com to see what's available, and where.

BTW, I was born in Aberdeen.


"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#15 of 15 imp3r10

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Posted August 29 2009 - 02:37 PM

I wouldn't know which speakers to get.


What would you recommend for $300-$400 range?

Should I get the 6 Model 6's or go with a couple front/center Cerwin Vega's?





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