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Budget bookshelf speaker recommendations


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#1 of 19 Jim Mcc

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Posted January 19 2013 - 03:42 PM

I'm looking to upgrade my 3 front speakers, and would like to spend about $250, if possible. The speakers will sit on a 1X10 shelf, so I want either front ported or sealed speakers. I am interested in the Infinity P163, which are currently $85 each. Second choice is the smaller P153, currently $75 each. Do you guys have any other recommendations for nice bookshelf speakers? NO, I do not want to buy used speakers. Thanks.

#2 of 19 DaveF

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Posted January 19 2013 - 04:12 PM

At $250, should you consider a sound bar? I've been doing a little reading for my dad, who needs a replacement for his HTIB. I'm starting to get drawn towards these sound bars, but I don't know enough to recommend them. http://thewirecutter...does-not-exist/ http://thewirecutter...cheap-soundbar/ And while I'm linking to Wirecutter, for conventional speakers they point to good reviews on some Pioneers http://thewirecutter...shelf-speakers/

#3 of 19 Jim Mcc

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Posted January 19 2013 - 06:10 PM

Thanks Dave. No soundbar for me. I know about those Pioneer series speakers, but they are rear ported.

#4 of 19 gene c

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Posted January 19 2013 - 06:38 PM

If you have a Frys near you then the Polk RTi4's ($129) and CSi3 ($99). They don't appear to be on sale right at this moment but have been on and off for 2-3 months. They are very good speakers retailing for $259/pr and $259 each.They are kind of bright sounding, which is great for movies/tv/dialog but maybe a little tiresome for extended music listening. They're rear-ported but are designed for wall-mounting and have a flared rear port. They are real wood veneer, not vinyl and the Ebony models are gorgeous. The Cherry ones not so nice. They look and feel like cheap formica.
"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.
 
 

 


#5 of 19 Jim Mcc

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Posted January 20 2013 - 08:15 AM

Thanks Gene, but no Frys near me. No one else has any recommendations?

#6 of 19 gene c

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Posted January 20 2013 - 09:24 AM

It's going to be difficult to find small monitors that are front ported because it increases the size of the enlosure which in turn, increases the cost. So, they put the port in the rear. If necessary, put a sock or foam plug in the port and convert it to a sealed enclosure. The Pioneers look like the best bet at this point. I just can't find much else in your price range (the matching center is usually too expensive) that has front ports. But I'll keep looking as time allows. With your very good F-12, I'd look closely at the Primus 153 instead. Maybe they will fit.
"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 19 Jim Mcc

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Posted January 20 2013 - 09:55 AM

Thanks Gene. I decided I'm going to go with 3 identical bookshelf speakers, instead of a center channel speaker. The P153 is only 1/2" shallower, so It's not worth getting the smaller woofer. The Infinity P163 is the one so far.

#8 of 19 gene c

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Posted January 20 2013 - 12:52 PM

I agree. The Infinity Beta 20 is one of my favorite bookshelf speakers (for the money) and the 163 is very similar. The Infinity PC251 is a very good center speaker but nothing wrong with using three bookshelves.
"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.
 
 

 


#9 of 19 Jim Mcc

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Posted January 25 2013 - 07:28 PM

I hooked up my new speakers today and they sound great. I went with 3 Infinity Primus P163's for the fronts. I'm keeping the 2 KLH surrounds for now. Tomorrow I just need to calibrate the speaker levels. Thanks everyone for your help.

#10 of 19 DaveF

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Posted January 26 2013 - 03:44 AM

Ahhh...KLH...I had a 5.1 set of super cheap KLH speakers for years. Loved them, even though they were poor speakers. :)

#11 of 19 gene c

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Posted January 26 2013 - 05:33 AM

Ahhh...KLH...I had a 5.1 set of super cheap KLH speakers for years. Loved them, even though they were poor speakers. :)

That didn't make a darn bit of sense! :laugh: (but I think you know what you mean). My first powered sub was an 8" KLH. We'll just leave it at that ;) . Glad you're happy with the Infinity's. P142's and P143's would be great as surrounds. Need something smaller? Any satellites from the TSS series would match. I've used OSW-1 on-wall's but they're only available as used. Perfect match for the P163's/Beta 20's though.
"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 19 Jim Mcc

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Posted January 26 2013 - 11:16 AM

When I set the P163's decibel levels, do you think I should still set them to "small"? They have 6.5" woofers. My sub is just a 8" Sony. I know, but this is just our family room/TV setup. 2) If I set them to small, does that "small" setting carry over to when we switch the receiver to "stereo" for music listening? 3) Does the sub's volume setting carry over to when we switch receiver to "stereo" for music listening? Thanks.

#13 of 19 schan1269

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Posted January 26 2013 - 11:20 AM

Small=included in bass management. Large=left out of bass management. It has nothing to do with speaker size. It is one of the dumbest "settings" invented when 5.1 became "the standard". IT should be..."included in bass management or not".

#14 of 19 Jim Mcc

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Posted January 26 2013 - 12:33 PM

So what is your suggestion based on my P163 speakers and 8" sub? Set fronts to large or small? The manual says if the woofer is larger than 4.75" to set speakers to large. According to this, my 5.25" surrounds should also be set to "Large". Does it make sense to set my fronts AND surrounds to "large"? Another setting I'm confused about is: "Subwoofer Output" - Settings are "LFE" or "LFE + MAIN". The manual makes no sense to me. And what about my questions 2 and 3 above? Thanks. The receiver is the JVC RX-7030 if that helps.

#15 of 19 DaveF

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Posted January 26 2013 - 12:43 PM

That didn't make a darn bit of sense! :laugh: (but I think you know what you mean). My first powered sub was an 8" KLH. We'll just leave it at that ;) . Glad you're happy with the Infinity's. P142's and P143's would be great as surrounds. Need something smaller? Any satellites from the TSS series would match. I've used OSW-1 on-wall's but they're only available as used. Perfect match for the P163's/Beta 20's though.

I had the same sub! They were all I could afford for a surround system. Compared to nothing, they were awesome. But in absolute terms...my SVS are an upgrade :)

#16 of 19 DaveF

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Posted January 26 2013 - 12:48 PM

I would set them to small, since you've got a sub. That's what I've done, even though I've got large surrounds. The proof is in the listening. Try it both ways with material you know well, that spans full range, highs to lows.

#17 of 19 schan1269

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Posted January 26 2013 - 01:36 PM

Large + "LFE + main" = small In other words...it is a way to "include" the main speakers(when set large) in bass management. If you want to set them "large" so they aren't included in the crossover...that is your choice.

#18 of 19 Jim Mcc

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Posted January 26 2013 - 02:01 PM

Thanks guys.

#19 of 19 gene c

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Posted January 26 2013 - 06:09 PM

I would also set them to "Small" and the crossover to 80 hz or 100 hz, whichever sounds best to you. The speaker size should remain at Small when switching to Stereo mode unless you select Analog Direct. Then both front speakers will receive a full range signal regardless of the speaker size you selected. Analog Direct basically turns your receiver into an amplifier and volume controller only and none of the other settings will be used including bass/treble controls, eq, etc. The subwoofer (and other speaker groups) volume lever should stay consistant regardless of the surround mode, including Stereo. But the manuals can be confusing, mis-leading or down-right in-accurate. And they often leave out things or settings that can be adjusted. This is particularly true of early surround sound receivers. Often times the only way to answer some questions for sure is thru trial and error.
"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.
 
 

 





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