Help a Speaker Newbie!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Terry_D, Oct 14, 2002.

  1. Terry_D

    Terry_D Auditioning

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    Sorry if this question is overly vague...

    I'm in the market to buy my first pair of real speakers. I want to spend somewhere between $1,200 - $1,400. I need the whole 5.1 set-up. I need bookshelf/wall mountable speakers for the fronts and a mid-sized sub (10-12").

    I have been thinking of going with the Infinity Entra Series (Entra 1's for the front/surround, entra center 2, and entra sub 1). Is this a decent setup? I've read a favorable review and the price seemed right. This whole setup will cost me ~$1,250 from Crutchfield.

    Can anyone make any recommendations?
    Is there anywhere else that I should buy from? I've heard that one can usually find much better deals than what Crutchfield offers.

    Thanks,

    Terry
     
  2. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Terry:

    Crutchfield's website and service are excellent, but they don't discount their prices and they don't match prices with other Internet vendors. I've ordered from them and found their service to be top-notch.

    As far as the Infinity speakers go, I think the Entra Series is decent, but you can do much better among the major retail brands. I've compared the Entra towers against my JBL N38ii towers and the JBL was much more detailed, with better bass extension and a much fuller midrange. Of course, the JBL is a 3-way speaker and the Entra is not. In terms of bookshelf speakers, however, I would compare the JBL S38ii against the Entra 1 and decide for yourself which is better.

    In terms of Infinity itself, the IL10 was, to my ears, a better speaker than the Entra 1 is. If you can find the IL10 on close-out, you'd probably find them superior to the Entra 1 if you decide to go the Infinity route.

    But do yourself a favor, and at least give the JBL stuff a listen. In their price range, they are tough to beat.

    -AM
     
  3. Martin H

    Martin H Extra

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    Keep in mind that JBL and Infinity are part of the same company, so w/ Infinity, you might be paying a bit more for the name, e.g. Toyota v. Lexus.
    If you decide to go with one of those brands, you might want to check out www.harmanaudio.com for factory reconditioned units and close-outs at some good prices. I ordered a refurbished H/K receiver from them and it's just like brand new and has the full warranty.
    Finally, I'm no expert, and I'm just repeating what I've read many times here and elsewhere, but while JBL and Infinity are good brands, you might want to check out some others before deciding - PSB, Energy, Paradigm, Ascend, Def Tech, etc. After a lot of reading here and other HT and audio sites, I ended up choosing Axiom and I'm really pleased with them. There are a lot of really good products out there. Good luck and enjoy the search!
     
  4. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    Poor you! Once you get the HT bug your discretionary income disappears very quickly.
    When you say pair do you mean just the fronts or do you mean the whole enchilada? If so, you can get some good systems for that kind of money.
    Can't do a thing about the ensuing upgradeitis though [​IMG] .
    Let us know what you listen to, space, budget, the works. The more we know, the more we can help.
    The cardinal rule of speakers is always, "Go listen for thyself." No matter what anyone says, if YOU like it then YOU get it. They have to sit in your living room and please you, not us.
    Audition everything you are interested in. I think shopping for HT stuff is for men what shopping for shoes is for women, an excuse to spend more than you should just because you feel like it. I'm not sure about this, but it might just be true. We'll need a Gallup poll to know more.
     
  5. Terry_D

    Terry_D Auditioning

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    Thanks for the replies, everyone. I really appreciate it.

    Jason, I suspect you're right about the compulsion that we share.

    Anyway, I mis-spoke when I said "a pair." I really am in the market for the whole enchilada. I'm hoping that whatever I decide on will be with me for a while. My wife doesn't quite understand what it means to a guy to get all this stuff. I have to give her some credit, though. We did get a 53" 16x9 TV a while ago, so she's not completely against this sort of thing.

    Anyway I'll be using the system for mainly DVD and Music. I will also use it for TV and videogames, but those are secondary to the DVDs and CDs. The space is fairly large (well, it's long, but not very wide). Our house is not set up well for HT, so I am going to have to experiment some once I get the system. That's okay, though. The room is about 12' wide and the fronts/surrounds will therefore be about that far apart. I can't get floor-standing because there simply isn't enough room on either side of the TV.

    The budget I'm working with is pretty limited. Like I said, I only have between $1,200 - $1,400 to spend.

    It's important to me to have some candidates to listen to. The town I live in isn't that small, but it's small enough that we don't have a real HT store. We've got a Circuit City and an H.H. Gregg (which I don't shop at) so you can imagine that it is really an endevour to get somewhere to listen to different speakers as it's about a 50 mile drive to the nearest HT store.

    Well, that's all that I can think of off the top of my head. I'll definately be researching some of the other brands mentioned and I'd appreciate anything else that anyone can add to this!

    Thanks again,

    Terry
     
  6. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    Terry,
    I drove 80 miles through northern New Jersey (and back) to go listen to some speakers and ended up liking them best (and buying) so it IS worth the effort. Nothing worse than getting a system home and deciding it's not for you no matter how hard you try to tweak it.
    For that kind of money you could look at the Definitive Pro Monitor 100s or similar systems from Energy or Paradigm (I especially like Paradigms in this size class). The PSB Alpha is another great choice:
    PSB Alpha Review
    Here's Paradigm's website. They make terrific bang-for-the-buck systems:
    Paradigm's enormous but detailed website
    And here is a review of the Definitives from the always restrained and cordial [​IMG] Jeff Cherun:
    Home Theater Magazine review of ProCinema 100 system
    I'm sure other people have had experience with others. Sub/sat systems are very popular here.
    Good luck!
     

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