Beginner speaker setup for around $600

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Alex_Santos, Jan 2, 2002.

  1. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

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    Ive been trying to figure out what to buy for my first set of speakers. JBL seems to be the most popular choice and the NSP-1 set looks good to me. What im wondering is, would it be better to buy the higher end JBL speakers seperately to get a better system. Here is what I was thinking about:
    Mains - N38 - Floor standing
    Center - S-Center
    Rears - N24
    Ive done some reading and most say the the surrounds do not need to be as high quality as the other 3 speakers. This would allow me to save some money and invest more in the fronts and centers. Anyone have experience with this setup or other that would fit into my price range. Thanks.
     
  2. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

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    Since ive been searching, ive come across several people who recommend matching the fronts and the center. If this is the best way, then how about this combination.

    Mains - JBL S310 Floor standing

    Center - JBL S-Center

    Rears - JBL n24

    Ive also heard that the Energy take 5 systems are very good. Would they be a good choice in my price range or are the JBL's my best bet.
     
  3. Todd Terwilliger

    Todd Terwilliger Screenwriter

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    The JBLs all match, which is nice because you can mix the N and S series easily. I've also heard good things about the Energy speakers but I've never heard them personally.
     
  4. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    Sub $600 is tough.
    For $625 you could get either wood or ceramic nOrh 4.0 mains and wood 3.0 center and surrounds.
    Another option is the HTD Level Three bookshelf mains and surrounds and the center.
    Perhaps look at Paradigm Titan mains, CC170 center, and Atom surrounds.
    Energy Take 5.2 is another option you may consider.
     
  5. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I'd seriously look into these Energy's from the for sale area Take 5.2
    This would get you a great set of speaker and you'd have about $200 left for a sub. In the $200 sub market the Sony is the one to get. check places like Sears for it.
     
  6. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

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    I recently picked up a sony sa-wm40 sub. I really don't want to spend much more than 600. I also thought that floor standing speakers might be better for me because I don't have stands and don't have much room on my walls. Anyone else have experience with others. Thanks.
     
  7. Ashok

    Ashok Agent

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    At this price range, you will probably be better off going with bookshelves and buying (or making) two pairs of stands. I would suggest two pairs of Paradigm Titans or Atoms at around $180-$200 a pair. Then get a CC-170 at $150-$200. Or, you could go the PSB route. Look here for B-stock (slight, probably very minor blemishes) Image series. These may be a bit expensive, but a pair of 1B's is $195, and an 8C center is $199. If it's too much, you could step down to the PSB Alpha Line.
    You will probably get good sound from the JBL's that have been recommended as well. Or maybe even try 5 wood nOrh 3.0's.
     
  8. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

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    Are we sure the JBL N series is timber and voice matched with the S series? I'm not sure. I am sure that the Northridge speakers are ALL matched, and the Studio (S) series are ALL matched.

    Why not go with the N-38 mains N-center and N-24? This will sound great with a powered sub. The N- Center really sounds good for the price.

    Or get the S-Center, S310's, N-24?
     
  9. ScottAndrew

    ScottAndrew Stunt Coordinator

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    I just set up the N38s, N-Center and N24s last night. So far it's very nice. The N38s are very "relaxed" compared to my HTB-503 speakers. They play loud without sounding as loud.

    My only gripe is the mounting brackets for the N24s. I have to put them on my rear wall, and they only let me angle the speakers about 45 degrees toward the center, when I would have preferred 70 degrees or more. Also, be prepared for a trip to the hardware store. They don't come with screws or anchors.

    But they are very nice.
     
  10. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

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    Ive been pretty impressed with all the good feedback on the jbl's. I really think that id like floor standing speakers as they would be easier for me to place in my apartament. Anyone else have experience in this price range?
     
  11. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    Another suggestion is to look into the Mirage FRx-1. Its a bookshelf and is very musical. Some neighbors of mine wanted advice on speakers so we went and auditioned and we were all quite astounded to the smooth tweet on these little bad boys. Four of these and a center...not sure on the pricing but should be within your budget. Check out www.miragespeakers.com
    Happy hunting!
     
  12. Brian_C

    Brian_C Stunt Coordinator

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    I have heard the Energy Take 5's and they just weren't to my liking. This is purely just me, but I think the JBLs sound a lot better. If you can, you really should listen to your available choices to see what YOU like.

    I don't really care too much for the quality of the rear speakers either, as they are mainly heard for effects. I'd go with all S-Series up front or all N-Series, but I probably wouldn't mix.
     
  13. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    OK, here's a possibility I've been mulling over ever since an unscheduled, ear-opening listening experience I recently had...
    I'm talking about the generally ignored and oft-maligned Cambridge Soundworks Tower II's matched with their CenterStage.
    In-store speaker demos aren't the best test, to be sure, but I was amazed at the level of detail and, particularly, the extraordinary imaging of these speakers. Are they as great as some of the better speakers out there? No. Are they worth the price charged at the CS retail store? Probably not. But since you can grab a pair of these full-range speakers from HiFi.com offa Ebay (fully warranteed for 10 years by CS) for only $400, I think this is something you should really consider. Here's a current auction: http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI...tem=1318187491
    (I'm certainly considering it, and I'd love to hear some positive/negative feedback.)
    I'd further consider matching these speakers with a CS CenterStage, which can be had from Hifi.com/Ebay for $149.
    So, for $550, you can have a frontstage setup that will dwarf (in sound and size) the Energy and similar systems. Especially if you listen to a lot of music, I'd really give this a chance.
    (Check out this review from HomeTheaterMag rating the Tower IIs/Centerstage - along with the BassCube 10 and Surround 5.1 - very highly at $2000! http://www.hometheatermag.com/showarchives.cgi?16:1 My purchasing suggestion will provide you with the three upfront speakers - minus the sub and surrounds - for only $550. $550!!!)
    That leaves a sub and surrounds to consider. IMO, you should spend a little extra to get the right sub, and I'd consider sticking with the full-range Tower IIs until your budget allows you to spend a bit more for a top-notch sub. Boomy or bloaty bass is gonna really ruin the effect of your system - a second-rate sub can really muddy up your sound.
    Do you have any speakers that can handle the surround signals for now? If so, I'd utilize them until you save some more money. If not, consider this: you can get a pair of CS Surround 5.1 speakers (which is an even better surround speaker than the one HomeTheaterMag reviews - the Surround II - in that $2000 system linked to above) for a "buy-it-now" price of $119 (and a reserve of less than that). Or you can get a pair of the Surround II's for a buy-it-now of $89 (and a reserve of less).
    So, with some careful shopping and going without a sub (until you can afford a really good one), you can get a truly good setup for only $650-700. This would be essentially the same setup (without a sub and with better quality surrounds) that HomeTheaterMag says is "an excellent buy for $2,000." The reviewer even states that he "had to double-check that price a few times." Imagine what he might think of these prices!
    If you have a CS retailer in your area, you should head over for a demo - but don't buy them there! Use Ebay and purchase from Hifi.com for the really good prices..
     
  14. Chris Shelly

    Chris Shelly Second Unit

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    Hello,

    I am building a budget home theater system myself. The JBL is very good and is my second choice for speakers. My first choice is the Acoustic Research HC2. The AR HC2 speaker package sounds very good and can be found for as little as $429. In this package you get 5 matched "the Edge" satelite speakers and a 12 inch 125W subwoofer. AR does a little trick and uses a 4 olm driver and a robust amp so the output is really 250w. I think others do the same actually but they word it different. The only problem the Acoustic Research speakers is they always seem to be sold out. They are either really popular ar Acoustic Research is a small company. In fact I might have to go for the JBL NSP1/PB12 system anyway because my set is on backorder. I say go with the AR HC2 if you can find them in stock for cheap if not then go with the slightly more expensive JBL. Either way you will get very good sound.

    As an alternative I am looking to go 5 JBL N26 for LCRS and a seperate PB12 for the sub but this will cost about $100 more.

    Chris
     
  15. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

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    I think that im going to go with a more widely available dealer. Anyone else have experience with JBL? Thanks.
     
  16. Todd Terwilliger

    Todd Terwilliger Screenwriter

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    I have the JBL NSP set and it works great for me. It does not include a sub, however, so you need to factor that in seperately.
     
  17. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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  18. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

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    I think if I go JBL I will stay within one series. My only problem is picking a series and choosing speakers. I think that with my current apartament, I might benefit from using floor standing speakers due to the lack of space that I have. If anyone else has any input I would certaintly appreciate it.
     
  19. Yosuke Yamamoto

    Yosuke Yamamoto Auditioning

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    Why not consider the NHT Super series? If you can find a close-out, as I did, a set of Superones, Superzeros, and a Super center can be had for ~$600. I really love the balanced and accurate sound out of these.
     
  20. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    I'm thinking Studio series myself; I have an S center already and am toying with S312s up front and S310s for the surrounds. Whadya think?
     

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