My considerations for a 2-channel setup

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Nick White, Jun 18, 2003.

  1. Nick White

    Nick White Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm trying to setup a nice 2-channel system on a (*gasp*) college budget. My primary use/concern will be music, with movies being of little concern to me. I also have no planson buying a sub, so whatever speakers I choose ought to have sufficient bass response for music on their own.

    My budget is around $300 for the pair. Here are my considerations so far:

    JBL N38/II ~$300
    Mirage Frx-5 ~$300
    Athena AS-F1 ~$400

    I very briefly listened to the Athena and JBLs using the Best Buy sample music and I found the JBLs to have slightly fuller bass. This is probably important since I won't be using a sub.

    Also, I am currently using a vintage Kenwood KR 4010 receiver that I actually like the sound of. I am not sure exactly how much it pushes (somone told me they thought it was 40 watts/channel, but sounds equivalent to 100 watts). So if I can keep the Kenwood, I'd really like to. Will it be able to handle any of these speakers?

    Any thoughts and reccomendations are welcome, such as other speakers that match the Kenwood, or other recievers that would fit the speakers.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Dean Mar

    Dean Mar Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't know anything about those speakers, however you can look at how efficient they are to see how well they will work with your present receiver.
    Also, check out the following link for a great deal on the Mirage speakers. I saw it this morning and I believe they are $249 including shipping.

    http://www.gotapex.com/deals.php
     
  3. Nick White

    Nick White Stunt Coordinator

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    What exactly do you mean? I'm not sure what to look at or how to compare.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    You will be much happier with the JBL S series than the N series - S26 from www.jandr.com for $199 with free shipping. Clean highs, decent bass, and definitely in there on price. Then there is the S310 for $329 (not including additional markdown) + free shipping.

    I have not heard the Athenas or Mirages you listed.
     
  5. Nick White

    Nick White Stunt Coordinator

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    The S26s are bookshelf speakers, aren't they? Could their bass really hold up against the floorstanding N38s? Maybe I'll have to audition them myself.
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    well just how big is that room of yours?
     
  7. GarySI

    GarySI Stunt Coordinator

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    Have you checked out the Axiom Atoms? I haven't heard them myself, but Stereophile thinks they are great for the price. About 189USD
     
  8. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Nick: You were wondering if that Kenwood could properly power some bookshelfs? Assuming you will be living in the typical cramped dorm room or smallish off-campus apartment, if that receiver weighs at least around 15 pounds, it should have no problems (@75% of a receiver's weight is the power supply & power amp).

    I have recent experience with this situation: just three years ago I was back at college for another degree & living in the freshman dorm. Me, my moldy-oldy Pioneer SX-6 receiver (45w/channel) & Boston CR9's (8" woofer) were written up twice for "excessively loud music". :b My RA just had no sense of humor!!

    Anyhoo.......

    I used to own a little Sony receiver from 1983 that was rated at "only" 21 watts per channel (.01%THD; 20-20,000kHz) and with a big pair of Pioneer floorstanders w/12" woofers, that thing could easily be heard from the street (& it was clean sound, not distorted).

    And I have to plug my own speaker brand: Boston Acoustics CR75, $299 Tweeter sells these. If you like the sound of JBL & Athena, I'll bet you'll like Boston's. The speaker snobs may not like this company (too much technology for too low a price?) but who cares what they think? Though I wish Boston hadn't made this new CR series so squatty looking!

    LJ
     
  9. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Oh yea: watching movies "just" in stereo CAN sound very good. All the other speakers in a typical HT system are really for the special effects. I would rather watch a movie that way with the system you are contemplating than with some cheesebag $500 theater-in-a-box system.

    LJ
     
  10. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    If you have some basic wood working skills and tools I highly recommend DIY on the college budget.

    http://www.adireaudio.com/diy_audio/.../kithe12_1.htm

    These will utterly destroyer everything mentioned so far. $400 plus another $30 in MDF will get you some ugly speakers that sound great. Then when you have a little more cash give them a nice paint or veneer job.

    At 96dB/W/m they will also require very little power to get very loud. And if you build the ported tower you'll have solid response down to mid 30hz range in a small room.

    http://www.adireaudio.com/diy_audio/monitors/kit281.htm

    These aren't as efficient but have more bass.

    And this is another great kit option:

    http://www.gr-research.com/performer/av3.htm
     
  11. Nick White

    Nick White Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I'm actually looking to power some floorstanders (the JBL N38s) as opposed to bookshelves. Right now they're powering some hand-me down generic floorstanders just fine. I'd actually think about keeping them if the left tweeter wasn't blown.

    I also agree with you Lance. I'd MUCH rather have a quality stereo setup than spend the same price on a "ho-hum" 5.1 setup anyday. I find surrounds to often just be gimmicky.

    That said, I'm leaning towards the JBL N38 or N38IIs. It looks like I can get a used pair for just around $200 or a little more. That price sounds awesome to me and I've heard just about all good things about them.

    I might take a look at those Axiom speakers though.
     
  12. Mark Hedges

    Mark Hedges Second Unit

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    Did you try the JBL S38? They are bookshelf speakers but they pack a lot of punch. A lot of people seem to like them - give them a listen.

    Mark
     

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