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Budget bookshelf speaker recommendations (1 Viewer)

Jim Mcc

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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.
 

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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.com/reviews/the-best-home-theater-in-a-box-does-not-exist/ http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-cheap-soundbar/ And while I'm linking to Wirecutter, for conventional speakers they point to good reviews on some Pioneers http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/a-great-pair-of-bookshelf-speakers/
 

gene c

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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.
 

gene c

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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.
 

Jim Mcc

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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.
 

gene c

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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.
 

Jim Mcc

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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.
 

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

gene c

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DaveF said:
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.
 

Jim Mcc

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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.
 

schan1269

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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".
 

Jim Mcc

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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.
 

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gene c said:
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 :)
 

DaveF

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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.
 

schan1269

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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.
 

gene c

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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.
 

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