cheap but decent tower speakers?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by eddieZEN, Dec 13, 2004.

  1. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    I keep hearing that tower speakers would do me good in my cavernous living room, but at the same time I wanted to keep my budget under $350 for the pair. Want them mainly for music listening SQ, to fill up the large space.

    Was looking at the Wharfedale Diamond 8.3 and the Mordaunt Short 902, these are both two-driver speakers though, so would they sound any different than simply putting 2-way bookshelf speakers on stands? They're about $230 shipped. Also looking at the Infinity Entra Three, same type and price range.

    Any other suggestions for that under-$350 price range would be warmly appreciated...
     
  2. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Another candidate is the Fluance SM-938 at $336 shipped but Fluance seems to be a somewhat controversial maker on forums like this, often accused of being another "white van" scam.
     
  3. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    Compusa has Infinity Primus 250 towers on clearance for $99/ea.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    How big is your room? I have the 902s and they don't fill a very large room well, at least not my 19x20, but I recently setup a guy with 904s in a 15x18x8 room and they did the job quite well. The 902s are more than enough for the room I have them in though - 12x14

    www.ac4l.com has the 904s (same price as the 902, no stands needed) for $230+shipping

    IMO, Fluance is not a white van scam, they've been around for some time and are fairly reputable, they are just cheap speakers.
     
  5. Max F

    Max F Second Unit

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    I really like my Monitor Audio Bronze B4s. I think you can find them for less than $350. They can fill up a decent size room pretty well.
     
  6. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

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    Get the well reviewed Athena AS-F2 from audioadvisor for $359 shipped. Or if you have a Best Buy close by and they still have them in stock, the F2's will be substantially cheaper.
     
  7. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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    I've never seen this. I always thought they were pretty respected like HTD.
     
  8. Brian_Fly

    Brian_Fly Stunt Coordinator

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    BIC America (or Acoustech) and Polk have some at that price range also.
     
  9. Jimi C

    Jimi C Screenwriter

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    I own Fluance sv10's, They are pretty hard to beat at $299 a pair.
    I cant speak for how the ES-1's sound but if its half as good as they look they area great deal also.
     
  10. AzeemE

    AzeemE Auditioning

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    The ES-1 towers are currently being upgraded and enhanced, but when they're re-introduced (early 2005) they will definitely be tough to beat for the price!

    Also, if it makes much of a difference, we sell the SV-10s for $285US and you can pick them up local to the GTA for free (for the holiday season)

    Oh, and Fluance definitely isn't a white-van company. They've been operating for several years and I've been dealing with them amicably since the start. They're a great company to work with!
     
  11. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    John,

    My listening room is really very strange: it's kind of a wide U-shape, total square footage is about 600 sq. ft. not counting stairwell space and 15 foot ceilings. Something like 15Hx23x20 not including the stairwell space and hallway. There is a wall cutting that "U" horizontally in the middle, that's where my system faces my listening futon which is along the opposite long (23') wall.

    So right now I just have my sub, mains and center, want to add rear surrounds by don't know how to not have wires begging to be tripped over, ditto for moving the sub to the lower left corner. My wife would kill me if I decided to switch the positions of the system and the futon so I'm stuck with having speakers pretty much floating with all that space around and behind them which is why I'm thinking about getting towers since they're supposed to be better at filling up space.

    As you can see, considering that I'm on a very limited budget by audio standards, I'm probably screwed in terms of ever achieving decent accoustics in this place! Also since this is a rental house I can't really modify the room or drill things into walls/ceilings.

    Oh and as for the MS speakers, I was thinking the 904s all along, just typed in the wrong model number. How did they sound to you, the mids and highs? Other than the elevated position, I just wonder how much better they can really be than the 902s since their drivers look identical and the two are even identically priced. (scratches head)
     
  12. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    James,

    thanks for the tip, I'll try to audition them but haven't heard good things about the Primus line at all.
     
  13. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Max,

    Surely you mean $350 EACH, right? I'd jump on them if I could find them for that price for a pair.
     
  14. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Greg,

    I checked BB's website and they only have the F1s, $280 for a pair plus tax for pickup. What's the difference with the F2s?
     
  15. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    John, Jed, Jimi, & Azeem,

    Wrt. Fluance, I usually read good reviews about them from individual consumers but for some reason never any professional reviews, other than 2-3 on their $200 HT speaker systems...that kind of spooks me.

    Wonder why no hi-fi magazine has ever bothered to review the Fluance speakers yet, esp. if these same mags do sometimes review entry-level stuff from the likes of Infinity and Polk, both semi-mass-market brands, and which the Fluance by all accounts is supposed to blow out of the water at its pricepoint.

    Could it be that the stereo mags are deeply beholden to their advertisers, i.e. tend to give glowing reviews to products by manufacturers who assiduously wine and dine them and give them lots of free samples? I have no idea, that's just a thought... I know that car reviewing mags are often accused of just that sort of thing. And wine mags too, with the exception of that one (forget the name) which has zero advertising and is considered the foremost authority.
     
  16. Sean Mc

    Sean Mc Agent

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    Although I don't have the Fluance SV-10s or SM-938s, I do have the SX-HTB set and have heard the AV-HTB set. Even though I had already heard the AV-HTB set, I was reluctant to buy the SX-HTBs that didn't have any professional reviews. I was quite pleased once I got them though and would recommend them to others. I haven't heard the higher end stuff, but if what I got for $260 is any indication, you should be able to get some really nice floorstanders from them for your pricerange.
     
  17. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Sean,

    I'm curious, what are you running your speakers on? (receiver, etc.) And what other speakers have you owned or auditioned before buying the Fluance?

    I guess I'm really a low-fi/wannabe-mid-fi enthusiast myself. If speakers were cars, I suppose what I'm aiming for is something along the lines of a Toyota Camry...no BMW, but no Chevy Cavalier or Daewoo either. [​IMG]
     
  18. Max F

    Max F Second Unit

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    Eddie,

    I don't want to say how much i got my MA Bronze B4s for (I don't want to make anyone mad). They were floor models from Sound Advice. Sound Advice (Tweeter) here in Florida is discontinuing them, so deals can be had. Many of the websites that have them don't include the price (It says to "Call" for price). They may be cheaper than 350 or around that price. Maybe a new bronze series is coming out or something.

    These went for $299 ($50 shipping) on e-bay:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...e=STRK:MEWA:IT
     
  19. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    > I don't want to say how much i got my MA Bronze B4s for (I don't want to make anyone mad).

    Good thinking...the cheapest I can find them online is about $450 shipped!
     
  20. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I love the Mordaunts. The 904 and 902 are essentially the same speaker, just different cabinets and the 904 has slightly more extension, but not much. The 902 has a surprising amount of bass for it's size. Mids are exceptional with these speakers, which is why I chose them for my small 2ch system. Most aluminum tweeters seem to come off as harsh, but with their x-over (6dB/octave) and waveguide, these ones are simply clear and smooth; not overly crisp. For that price, they are tough to beat, seriously. The Entras won't hold a candle to them and the Primus are not as articulate.

    For room filling capability, the 902 and 904 are going to be very similar, and possibly not sufficient for that size room, however since this is for surrounds, it may not be as critical. One thing you have to note though, even with the included spikes, the 904s are short, so they may not work well as surrounds.

    Where are you located? What are you using for mains?
     

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