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1000$ Budget for nice pair of speakers (1 Viewer)

kylendm

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My friend just purchased a house and has a decent sized bar in the basement. Probably close to 30x20. He's got $1000 to spend on speakers and is looking to upgrade from his KLIPSCH PROMEDIA 2.1 COMPUTER SPEAKERS. Online they say they are about 200 watts and he was to go much louder than that because they crap out turned up almost all the way

Looking around I came across these:
Klipsch RP-260F
They look pretty nice and have good reviews too but the power handling is only 125/500w (cont/peak). My question is would a pair of these get loud enough to fill the room nicely without peaking? I know infinitely they will sound better than those computer speakers but we're talking sheer volume. If you guys have any suggestions for a pair of loud floorstanding speakers please let me know!


He also doesn't have anything to power them with yet and has a budget of $300 for a power amp/receiver.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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IF loud is what you want, those should play pretty loud given their rated sensitivity of 97db at 1 watt -- the Klipsch site doesn't seem to provide the details, but a quick google came up w/ that. They probably play ~2x as loud as most other decent-to-good quality speakers -- most tend to be rated under 90db at 1 watt.

But loudness is only one aspect of any speakers... Those (like most any Klipsch speakers) use a horn tweeter technology that yields its own particular sonic qualities... that not everyone will love. But since your friend probably already likes that sort (via his/her existing speakers), I guess that won't be an issue.

For the receiver, I would suggest checking out something from Yamaha or maybe Onkyo. What kind of music does he/she listen to? IF it's bass heavy (and he/she wants louder w/out significant distortions), I'd suggest spending more (maybe more on the receiver than those Klipsch RP-260F) and go w/ an Onkyo that uses toroidal transformer if possible -- try used or refurbed market to meet the budget.

Do note that the rated power handling of the speakers are actually pretty meaningless. Usually, the main problem is just not enough clean power (whether sustained or reserve) coming from the amp/receiver along w/ speaker efficiency (ie. sensitivity) -- of course, small computer speakers will have all sorts of factors to account. Also, bass is what consumes the most power, so you'd want more available power for bass heavy sounds.

Hope that helps...

_Man_
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Also, I'd add that your friend should ideally audition the complete setup/pairing (at least the choice of speakers and amp/receiver in comparable space/room, including acoustics) him/herself in order to decide what's best for him/her. If that's not possible, give preference to shops that allow a good in-home trial or return policy -- that's actually the best way to go, if possible.

Virtually impossible for strangers to tell what would work best, especially w/ so little info. For instance, even for loudness, we don't really know what's actually loud enough for your friend. My family often thinks I turn up my music/movies too loud, but I imagine I probably don't turn it up as loud as your friend, haha... :D And those horn tweeters would probably tire my ears out and annoy the heck out of me after a while... or maybe not since I am used to hearing beginner-to-intermediate-quality violins very close up (though not usually brass)... :P

_Man_
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Here's one more thought. IF your friend does listen to lots of bass heavy content, might want to add a good powered subwoofer instead of spending more on the amplification in the receiver. Might even consider moving down to the RP-250F to make that happen if going that route. Those RP-260F only use 6.5" woofers, so despite their claims about extension down to ~34Hz (via a quick google), I wouldn't expect too much good, clean, low bass from them. Probably better to rely on a good powered subwoofer for that instead -- maybe something like the SVS SB-12 (for $400 from Amazon).

Cheers!

_Man_
 

kylendm

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Wow, thanks for all the advice man. Really appreciated. It's a lot to take in but he made the choice of the RP-260Fs. How well regarded is that sub? Will it keep up with the speakers? The receiver he's using is the Yamaha R-N402.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Here's a good review of the SVS sub:

http://www.audioholics.com/subwoofer-reviews/sb12-nsd-subwoofer

Definitely a leading candidate in this price ballpark.

However, I also did a quick check for your friend's Yamaha receiver, and apparently, it's a stereo receiver that unfortunately doesn't offer sub channel output (for 2.1 config), which probably won't work for this (and probably most other comparable quality, moderately priced) sub. Not sure what's available these days that would be good for use w/ that receiver -- might need to try the used market.

IF he can actually return the receiver for something else w/ sub output (in 2.1 config), that would likely be better. I saw one suggestion (in another forum) for the RX-V481 as an alternative 5.1 receiver that might actually be better even for stereo playback, but not sure. Maybe the R-N402 has some specific feature that your friend wants that's missing in the RX-V481? Only thing I can think of that might matter is that the R-N402 is designed for relatively minimalistic (possibly purer) stereo audio... and I don't see a pure direct mode on the RX-V481 that used to exist on Yamaha's AVRs -- I actually have an old RX-V663 that has the pure direct mode that I (still occasionally) use for stereo music listening (and I used to use as AV preamp before upgrading to a dedicated Emotiva AV preamp). But if your friend uses a 2.1 config to send the bass to a sub, the pure direct mode wouldn't apply anyway... though theoretically, a more minimalistic 2.1 receiver should keep the signal purer/cleaner, if done right. Just not sure that R-N402 is actually designed to take full advantage of that... while there's still the issue of getting excellent bass given the limitations (of both the amp stage capability and the speakers).

Anyway, if your friend is serious about stereo audio fidelity/quality and don't need all the bells and whistles (like networking, bluetooth, MusicCast, etc), I'd suggest trying the used market instead for something tried-and-true of higher quality where it matters most -- and probably something that allows 2.1 config.

As for the speakers themselves, I came across another option that might better suit your friend, if he does switch to a diff receiver for 2.1 config:

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid3hppkg.html

It even uses horn tweeter tech... though the mains are bookshelf speakers that will probably need decent stands, which I suppose will put them a touch over budget. This should kick the bass quality another notch up from the SVS sub, and should likely yield better match between the mains and sub (and also make expanding to multichannel surround later easier, if that itch develops ;)).

Cheers!

_Man_
 

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