Best speakers for your hard earned bucks?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Joe Maiurro, Nov 13, 2003.

  1. Joe Maiurro

    Joe Maiurro Stunt Coordinator

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    Any suggestions on what would be the best speakers for your buck? I am upgrading my speakers and would like to keep all the speakers the same make. Right now I have Vega AT-8's for the front (about 7 years old) and pioneer center & surrounds (about 7 years old also! front covers don't even come off!). I could probably be doing much better with some new speakers but I really can't afford to break the bank! Any suggestions on makes & models? I don't really want to resort to buying thoses little satellite speakers! The speakers would be hooked up to my Pioneer VSX-D509S.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    "but I really can't afford to break the bank! Any suggestions on makes & models? "

    There are lots of good values out there. "not breaking the bank" can be a variety of prices, from $50, to 5K, or well beyond.

    I'm assuming a few hundred dollars or so, but you'll have to give a budget. That being said, I think paradigm is a great value, and a good place to *start* looking. While I personally prefer paradigm, and you should take a listen, listen to as many OTHER brands as you possibly can, and pick what SOUNDS best.
     
  3. Keith*D

    Keith*D Agent

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    I think for a great bang for the buck you should just do 5 (or 6) bookshelf speakers (i.e. use one for a center channel instead of a dedicated center.) You could try something like paradigm mini-monitors or titans. Or on the higher end Axiom M2ti ($255/pair.) I espceially reccomend this with companies that will let you split up pairs of speakers such as Axiom (i think) because if you have room this will save money and provide better integration between speakers.

    Keith
     
  4. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    I, too, suggest you look at Paradigm speakers, either the Performance or the Monitor series. Paradigm, along with PSB and Energy seem to be some of the best brands for the buck.

    Whatever people might suggest, remember the best speaker is the one that sounds the best to you. Good luck in your shopping.
     
  5. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    We still don't know is budget....
     
  6. Dave Milne

    Dave Milne Supporting Actor

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    I think the B&W Nautilus 800s are a great value. At about $16K/pair, they sounded significantly better than the $40K Linn Komri, in my opinion. I even thought they had tighter image focus and better bass (although with slightly smaller and less enveloping soundstage) than the $16K Dynaudio Confidence C4 - and I'm a Dynaudio fan! Admittedly, I haven't heard the Joseph Audio Pearls; according to many, including Stereophile, they are the best value $20K speakers...

    Oh, wait, I should have checked your budget... [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Oh man... yeah those dynaudio confidences are gooooood. IMO much better than the 20K revels, and for just 12K for the C2s.... [​IMG]
     
  8. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Joe for $3100CDN(tx in) you can get Paradigm Studio 40v3, Studio 20v3, Studio CC470v3 and $300 worth of stands(free). Not to mention buy now pay later if your interested. You just have to live in my area and I'll direct you to where I buy. Heres a pic of the front 3 speakers in my setup.[​IMG]

    Kevin
     
  9. Joe Maiurro

    Joe Maiurro Stunt Coordinator

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    I am thinking about sticking with Cerwins. I have the front cerwins already (At-8's old but will do for now). So now i just need the center and rears. Hopefully spend no more then $500 for both.. Possible? Anyone here have any comments about the Cerwins? Somewhere down the road I will purchase the new cerwin fronts. Nice setup Kevin! But alittle out of my $ range. May look into that once I purchase a house first. I am renting a 1 bedroom apartment now and don't need anything too crazy.. Yet.. [​IMG]
     
  10. Donald_S

    Donald_S Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd check into the the Onix Rocket ELT at av123.com. A hell of a deal if the budget is tight.

    Donald
     
  11. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Joe,

    If you can afford $100-$150 a month in payments find a place that does the buy now pay later programs. Spending $500 now is just going to leave you wanting to upgrade down the road. FOr just under a grand you can get a Paradigm Mini Monitor(Front/Rear)/CC-370 setup.

    Kevin
     
  12. Joe Maiurro

    Joe Maiurro Stunt Coordinator

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    Are Paradigm that much better than Cerwins?
     
  13. Tim K

    Tim K Second Unit

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    The only problem with trying to stick with your old speakers is going to be timbre matching. Your front three speakers should ideally be identical. And if not identical (since the center is usually aligned horizontally) they should be comprised of the same tweeters and cones (woofers). If you have mismatched speakers up front, you may notice that you lack a smooth soundstage up front.

    Also, Cerwin's don't exactly carry a great reputation for HT speakers. I think they are more of a loud rock n roll speaker.
     
  14. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    LAUGH!

    OMG yes.

    Cerwin vegas are a big [​IMG] .

    They are ok, loud, big bass, noisy.

    There's no comparison...paradigms sound way better any day.

    BTW, I think you can still get a WAY better setup for 1,000, then any cerwin vegas could get you. A pair of titans, are only $229, a matching center, like a 170/270 and a pair of atoms at $189 for the rear would be probably 600-700 dollars, plus a sub for another few hundred, and it's no contest. You can also assemble this over time. Go listen to some digms, and some other brands at some better stores.
     
  15. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    .......and y'all thought I was going to pass on this one [​IMG]

    $500 was the stated limit.

    Joe: Cerwins do a great job with HT to me. To effortlessly reproduce all the intense sound effects most action movies contain these days, you need something that doesn't cringe when asked to do so, i.e. won't compress the sound like certain "audiophile" speakers will do.......or just burn out altogether when really turned up. When explosions occur, they should hit you in the chest, not just the sub-bass frequencies but the upper-bass frequencies also. 5 inch "woofers" will have a difficult time doing this. And when the resulting debris comes crashing down you should be able to hear all the tinkling sounds of the metal and other bits bouncing on the ground. And driving (i.e. energetic) music soundtracks should also be recreated with intensity.

    And more subtle & cerebral movies get treated decently too, but if that's all one watches that's when I would probably recommend a different brand. Otherwise, just give the treble knob a twist to the left a bit (or hit the " - " button whatever the case may be).

    Sure Cerwins may not be the most accurate speakers around but I think their punchy sound is perfectly suited for movies where "punchy" is what is desired. Worried about listener's fatigue from that punchiness? In my circle of people, we watch one movie at a time and once in a great while, two in a row. So for us, fatigue is not a concern. Sort of like saying someone shouldn't experience the fun of a rollercoaster because it will wear them out......if they ride it three or four times in a row that is!

    And since most movie soundtracks are artificially generated and/or heavily processed and use data-compressed audio formats (Dolby Digital & DTS), in my humble opinion ultra-accurate speakers aren't needed anyway-- you'll just end up hearing more of the distortion from those processes.

    Other speaker brands that will probably match your Cerwin-Vegas: DCM, MTX "Monitor" series (Circuit City) & certain Klipsch models. Personally I would stick with the Cerwins for best sound matching. I think models from their E-Series would work for you: the E-76C center and E-706 bookshelfs are what I would recommend. And this only adds up to around $400 for both (you just can't charge much for big hunky speakers these days).

    Edit: I just noticed the E-series floostanders have individual midrange & tweeter controls to tailor their sound to specific rooms--neat!

    LJ
     
  16. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    I *STRONGLY* disagree with this notion. If you've ever heard film done in a high-end setup, you immediately realize the failure of this assumption. Music is, in my opinion, more demanding than movies only because you have more natural experiences to relate it to, and it can be recorded much more naturally rather than the explosions and more processed sound in movies. Still, the detail that can be contained in the soundtrack and reproduced by a 'audiophile' speakers is stunning, even with lossy formats. The only thing you will get with CV, is LOUD. And you lose a lot of quality sound in the process, and if you do ANY music listening at all, it is, in my opinion, a bad trade-off. As for bass reproduction, if you have a subwoofer, cross over your mains, and you don't have to worry about losing any good bass. Add to that, a dedicated subwoofer will do much better than any 'full-range' CVs, or any other speaker for that matter, will do. (ignoring some VERY potent speakers driven with OODLES of power with their own subwoofer arrays, which we are not talking about here).

    My recommendation is just to go listen to music, you won't turn back. If the speakers can't sound good on music, they won't sound great with movies. You can get by with loud punchy speakers for movies, but it will be WOEFULLY inadequate for any kind of music reproduction, or even quality soundtrack reproduction. Keep in mind that almost every movie I know of has music in it as well.
     
  17. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Chris: I'm not "assuming" anything. I've heard it. I've been exploring audio for 22 years and I have heard many, many different systems, from $60,000 rigs to carefully set-up $500 ones that sounded better than ones costing $5000.

    And I never said any full-range speakers could reproduce bass as good as a subwoofer. I just don't think a sub is needed for ALL people or ALL music, especially considering they can be a real bitch to set up correctly and integrate with the mains.

    FYI: Stating one's opinions as sweeping generalizations can be misleading.

    LJ
     
  18. Stephen M

    Stephen M Stunt Coordinator

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    With due respect to the original poster, I never understand threads like this one that ask what is the best speaker. Unless you are out in the middle of nowhere, you have an almost embarrasing number of brands to chose from, many of which sound great to me, but maybe not so good to you. The only way to make this choice is to LISTEN YOURSELF. Listen to as many brands in your price range as you can. If you have to drive for two or three hours to get to a large city to hear more speakers, make the time and do it. You will eventually narrow down your choices and at that time you should try to get a home tryout to see which speakers work in your room with your equipment. Internet brands can be used this way but you will have to pay round trip shipping to test them. On balance, worth it if they sound better at a better price than B&M brands. The key is that if they sound best to you, it is irrelavent what others think. If you take the time to do the listening, you will get what you like and you will not be disappointed.
     

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