best budget speaker for under $300?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Eric_Chen, Jun 9, 2003.

  1. Eric_Chen

    Eric_Chen Auditioning

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    hey guy i am new here and need some suggestions on a set of floorstand speakers for under $300 (might be able to squeeze a little more if it's a big difference for a little additional). i did some research on the forum and seems like there are a lot of praises for the JBL N38II, i am going to swing by best buy tomorrow after work to see if i can demo those but in the mean time what other choices should i look at? how does the JBL compare to mirage FRX-5? i am going to have a denon dcm-280 (already purchased) with an amc 3025a or 3050a (i can exchange between these two units depending on how much power the speaker needs). i went to good guys today to demo some speakers and liked the high end energy a lot (for 1800 each) but in comparison the lowend speakers (bose, klipsch, lowend energy) imaged/staged A LOT worse (the highend energy and the lowend speakers are in different rooms). i understand that the energy i heard is 10x the price, but does the stage/image have to do with the demo room or mostly the speaker itself? please help me out guys! >
     
  2. Eric_Chen

    Eric_Chen Auditioning

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    that is 300 a pair btw [​IMG] thanx guys
     
  3. Hank Edwards

    Hank Edwards Extra

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    When you go to BB, check out the Athena line. I was there last weekend and couldn't leave without a pair of the FS-1's. If you think they sound good in the store, wait till you get them home. As for 2.0 stereo, they sound full, very well defined, they image like mad, and are not harsh at all. Sunday night I popped Joy Ride in the HT, and I thought the eighteen wheeler was coming through the front wall of my theater. I feel that at $400.00 per pair they are going to be very hard to contend with at their price point. Best of luck.

    Hank Edwards
     
  4. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    Imaging depends on a lot of factors. Your setup, your equipment, the music you played, and your room acoustics all plays a part in how imaging comes out. In my very small room, my Energy C-1 bookshelf speakers does an excellent job on well-recorded stereo recordings, like Dire Straits' Brothers In Arms. If I removed the TV sitting in between the Energys, I am certain they will image even better. Of course, the Energy Veritas you're talking about will certainly be better than mine (I sure hope so), but good setup and room acoustics are very important as well.

    The Mirage FRX-5 is a steal at $300.00/pair, BTW.

    Funny Mirage, Energy, and Athena Technogies are mention, as they are all manufactured by the same company, API. Must be in the speaker genes.
     
  5. Mark Dickerson

    Mark Dickerson Stunt Coordinator

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    Eric:

    I have two options for you in your price range, listed in no particular order:

    1. Mirage FRx-5s: Killer speaker available from Audio Advisor (www.audioadvisor.com) for $299.99. Currently, they are offering free shipping as well, so $299.99 is the delivered price.

    2. Mordant-Short MS 904: Another great floor standing speaker (MSRP $499) available from Accessories 4 Less for $279.99 (www.accessories4less.com).

    You can find these speakers at a high end audio retailer, not a Best Buy or Good Guys, if you want to audition them. I highly recommend either one.
     
  6. Eric_Chen

    Eric_Chen Auditioning

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    thanks so much for the recommendation guys, i will try to demo some when i get off work today. but i checked the website and there are no mirage dealers in my area. if it makes any difference, my ears don't like speakers that are too "neutral". i like the warm sound from tube amps and need that slight tinging sibilance when listening to female vocals. thank you so much guys!
     
  7. David*RT

    David*RT Stunt Coordinator

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  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  9. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Eric: You're getting a lot of good advice here.

    I'll throw in my vote for your original suggestion, the N38IIs. These are underrated floor standing speakers, which seem to 'image' quite well for 2-channel music. I agree w/ using the female voice for demoing speakers, and my standard test track is now Massive Attack's/Tracy Thorn's "Protection," which knocks me over on the N38IIs.

    My neighbor has the Mirage FRX-5's and they are also excellent. Can't speak for the Athena line. Try as many as you can, be rest assured that the N38's are a good deal at under $300.
     
  10. Eric_Chen

    Eric_Chen Auditioning

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    i went to audition some speakers today but i was not all that impressed with all the floorstand i heard in my price range, they're all somewhat muddy in the midrange/midbass area. in comparison, all the bookshelf version that i heard sounded a lot cleaner. i went to demo mirage frx-5, omninous floorstand (weren't very impressed with frx-5, might have to do with the cd player/amp they put on it, the ominous were pretty nice), athena as-f1 (heard these at best buy, pretty nice, liked them better than the mirage frx-5) , some B&W floorstand, dyanaudio bookshelf and B&W CM2 (man, i loved the CM2, dynaudio was pretty good too much a little too laid back for me, didn't like the lowend B&W bookshelf). keep in mind that i heard the mirage, athena and the B&W at different stores so they're not A/B comparisons. so now, i'm convinced that for the price i'm paying i'd be much better off getting bookshelves instead. the bad thing is, after i hear more speakers IT MAKES ME WANT TO SPEND MORE!!! sigh, decisions...i'll try to goto some more stores and hopefully i can find the CM2 sound for a lot less (the store was asking $750 for a set of demos, OUCH!). in the mean time, all comments are welcome. [​IMG]
     
  11. Eric_Chen

    Eric_Chen Auditioning

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    sigh, am i expecting too much for $300? >< *boggle*
     
  12. Eric_Chen

    Eric_Chen Auditioning

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    as an update, i have decided to go DIY route and do the usher 2-way. i will keep u guys posted [​IMG]
     
  13. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    and this DIY will not have any of the perceived shortcomings of all the others?
     
  14. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Chu,

    If anyone should know, you should. That DIY brings a higher
    quality level of components since you are focusing on just
    the raw materials and your labor is worth squat (to yourself).

    You can certainly build something for $300.00 that would
    outperform something prebuilt in the $600.00 or higher
    price point. This is of course assuming you are building
    a kit that was designed by someone who knows what they are
    doing. Or if you are an expert and have the tools to completely
    design, test and develop your own.
     
  15. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    but ya never hoid it Brett. call it a preference if you will, but i kinda like hearing the stuff in my house. i guess part of what you create depends upon your skill or just how you plan approaching say the cabinet building, the exterior finishing.
     
  16. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    You can always listen to comercial speakers using the same or similar drivers to get a feel for how your DIY will sound if that's an issue.
     

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