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speaker recommendations for 2ch. setup ... on a budget


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#1 of 13 OFFLINE   Aurel Savin

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Posted February 24 2012 - 02:54 AM

I have a Rotel RBX980 120W/ch amp with a RTC980 pre that I recently bought for a great deal. I understand they are rather on the bright side as a combo and wish to match them up with a pair of bookshelf speakers that would add some warmth and decent bass extension. I mostly listen to rock / r&b / jazz. My budget is $250 tops for the pair. What are some good options for new or used that you can recommend? thanks for everyone's time!

#2 of 13 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted February 24 2012 - 04:03 AM

I can't say that I've ever heard anyone use the word bright for Rotel. Don't worry about that anyway, since the speakers determine the vast majority of sound you hear. Deep bass won't be so easy on a $250 budget, but I'd have to say a good bet are going to be the Infinity Primus P153 which should be right around that price point. The Behringer 2030P can generally be found right around $200/pr, but bass extension isn't so deep. The 2031P has a larger woofer and goes deeper, but will cost a bit over your budget. http://www.musicians...-monitor-single
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 


#3 of 13 OFFLINE   Aurel Savin

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Posted February 24 2012 - 08:20 AM

Thanks ... was never a big fan of Infinity speakers, although I haven't really had extensive time with them since the 90's. I am sure they are different now. As far as the Behringers ... typically studio monitors are more for near field listening from my experience and sound quite different and rather revealing in a typical home environment. Any specific reason you like them? Have you had time with them?

#4 of 13 OFFLINE   Martino

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Posted February 24 2012 - 08:55 AM

Rotel RBX980 120W/ch amp with a RTC980 pre

It looks like you have very good and high end equipment - and want to go cheap on the speakers.

I mostly listen to rock / r&b / jazz.

Given the limited budget - I would suggest that you go shop around and use your ears - using your own music selections. Find something that you really like, then shop for a used version. Going new with such a limited budget will limit what you can get for your money. Some suggested building your own set of speakers to further your value/dollar value. Also, looking into adding a powered sub and smaller speakers might also blow out your budget - but may be something that you can add in the future. With 120 watts available, you don't have to get the most efficient speakers, so your search can be wider. You can look in the hardware area on this form: http://www.hometheat...e-trade-archive There is also always craigs list and/or e-bay as well...

#5 of 13 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted February 24 2012 - 09:18 AM

I don't know anything about Rotel but if you're looking for a warmer, softer sounding speaker then John's right about Infinity. I have Beta 20's in my family room with a Pioneer receiver which I wouldn't call "bright' sounding but maybe excessively clear, if that's possible :confused: . Anyway, the Beta 20's play pretty deep for a bookshelf and really soften up the mid-range. The Primus series should be fairly close to them. Crutchfield has the P162's for $85 each shipped. But like Martin said, I think Rotel deserves a better speaker. I'd also check craigslist. Once in a while a real good deal can be found there.
"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.
 
 

 


#6 of 13 OFFLINE   Aurel Savin

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Posted February 24 2012 - 09:40 AM

Thanks ... got the Rotel rig off of Craigslist so I keep my eye on that site. Leaning towards something UK made as a lot of success stories with matching Rotel seems to be with UK made speakers that tend to be leaner and typically more neutral. Anyone have experience with Mordaunt Short or Cambridge Audio. Saw this deal on Audio Advisor that seems good ...

#7 of 13 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted February 24 2012 - 10:27 AM

I happen to have a pair of MS 902's and they're very nice speakers. Was planning on buying the matching towers and center a few years back but ac4l.com ran out of them and I went in a different direction (several, actually). I can't believe I forgot to mention the Mordaunt-Short Carnivals. They're the talk of internet forums at the moment. Ac4l.com had the Carnival 2's for $199/pr but it looks like they've sold out. They have the much smaller Carnival 1's for $119 a pair. Also look at the ARX A1 ($249) or A2 ($299). http://www.theaudioi...dde517ac020565e
"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.
 
 

 


#8 of 13 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted February 24 2012 - 11:11 AM

Thanks ... was never a big fan of Infinity speakers, although I haven't really had extensive time with them since the 90's. I am sure they are different now. As far as the Behringers ... typically studio monitors are more for near field listening from my experience and sound quite different and rather revealing in a typical home environment. Any specific reason you like them? Have you had time with them?

I haven't had time with the 2031p, but with the budget, that's what comes to mind. Studio monitors yes, but that doesn't necessarily mean within 2 feet. I know people use these for home theater mixing as well, so they should be fine in a typical room. You are correct though, they are a bit unforgiving in their response and will be more revealing overall. The 2030 is much the same, just without the extension, so to get the best out of them a sub would probably be recommended. The Cambridge Audio S-30s are $200 also, but those are likely to want a sub as well. Pairing isn't a total myth, but a good speaker should sound good with pretty much any good gear and that's what you have with the Rotel. Don't get hung up on that; just find a speaker that you like like Martino mentioned. I do find that the big British brands do tend toward a more neutral sound, but nothing is a given. To be honest, with quality gear, unless you choose a speaker you hate, it is probably going to sound good. I've owned the Mordaunt Short 902 bookshelf speakers also and I do like them, but they are a sister company to Marantz, who are definitely NOT British and they pair very well. I have not heard the Mordaunt Short Carnivals, but the specs seem OK for the price, especially with the stands included, but I think that is a new line so I can't say what you might expect of them. To get a higher class of speaker, you may want to look used. I also 100% agree with Gene, you're definitely going to have to do some auditioning.
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 


#9 of 13 OFFLINE   lucy520

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Posted February 25 2012 - 11:55 PM

http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/ Leaning towards something UK made as a lot of success stories with matching Rotel seems to be with UK made speakers that tend to be leaner and typically more neutral.

#10 of 13 OFFLINE   Aurel Savin

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Posted March 04 2012 - 12:39 PM

Thanks everyone so far. Still have not pulled the trigger but have narrowed it down to a small group. Wharfedale, Mission, Mordaunt Short or Cambridge Audio. All have a speaker around my price range. Found a local dealer that carried 3 out of those 4 lines so will have to visit him soon with a few cd's.

#11 of 13 OFFLINE   Mr645

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Posted March 04 2012 - 01:28 PM

There are some nice used deals out there, Just checking Ebay I found for $200 a pair of Paradigm 7seMK3 speakers, Infinity 525 Floor standing Speakers & Paradigm DCR-10 Sub Woofer for $250 and one speaker needs a little work, $30 worth. PSB Avanté Studio Speakers for $195 Maybe a set of Vandersteen model 1, but going to be an early version for $200 A set pf Polk Audio RT800 $200

#12 of 13 OFFLINE   Aurel Savin

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Posted March 06 2012 - 07:44 AM

Thanks everyone. This mission is over :D Ended up with a pair of mint Paradigm Atom Monitor V5's for $100 (including Omni Mount Sat 2 speaker stands) Everything looks literally fresh out of the box. These things sound amazing with the Rotel Pre + Amp ... I have no bass/treble adjustments on the pre and thought I would miss them but everything sounds flawless. Divorce sale ... I love Craigslist sometimes. :cool: Posted Image

#13 of 13 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted March 08 2012 - 04:24 AM

WOW, great price. Yes, you should not need tone controls. You know things are good when they sound good with the tone controls flat.
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein