Need Speaker Advice

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Dan Mertz, Nov 25, 2003.

  1. Dan Mertz

    Dan Mertz Stunt Coordinator

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    I have my new Yamaha HTR5550 receiver and now I just need some speakers to round out my first HT system. What are some decent brands of speakers that are not extremely expensive? What specs should I look for? My price range is around $350-$400.

    Also, is it true that all my speakers should be the same brand?
     
  2. JeffHunter

    JeffHunter Stunt Coordinator

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    well it's a lot easier to keep the same performance / sound when going with speakers from the same brand.

    JBL is currently clearing out their Studio line of speakers (they are being discontinued)... have a look around at those [​IMG]
     
  3. Dan Mertz

    Dan Mertz Stunt Coordinator

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    What other brands are good? Are there any to stay away from?

    Other than listening to different speakers until I find some that sound good, what should I look for in a speaker?
     
  4. Tim K

    Tim K Second Unit

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    I won't recommend speakers b/c sound is so subjective. But I will say to go listen to as many as you can. When you listen, make sure you are listening to the type of material you will listen to at home. If you are big on action films, demo some action scenes. If you will be using it for music (say classic rock), see how they sound with classic rock. Don't just let the salesman pop in whatever he has there, make sure it is the sort of thing you'd have at home....bring your own if you must.

    As for using the same brand...yes and no. The brand really has nothing to do with it so much as the speakers themselves. In an ideal theater, every single speaker would be identical...think about it...if a helicopter is flying around the room, shouldn't it sound the same in each speaker?

    Now, realistically you can't have a floorstanding speaker mounted on your wall or on top of your TV...so they typically modify each speaker...the center will be a bit smaller and turned horizontal. The key is really using the same woofers and especially tweeters in each speaker.
    So to get the best soundstage, its not just the brand but the components of each speaker. Even within a brand speakers will vary. Most mfg's will maintain a great deal of similarity within a line of speakers. For example, I use Boston Acoustics "VR" line of speakers up front, and the center and floorstanders use the exact same tweeters and woofers. I needed wall mounted surrounds, so I bought a pair of Micro 90's, which while from a different line of Boston's, used the same tweeters.

    Speaker matching is often referred to as "timbre matching".
     
  5. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    In that price range it would be hard to beat either a JBL NSP1 package or Fluance SX-HTB. Either paired with a Parts Express 10" 100w sub would be a very good start.
     
  6. Dan Mertz

    Dan Mertz Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm gonna have to rule out Fluance. I have absolutely no room for speakers that big. I guess I should have mentioned that I need bookshelf sized speakers or smaller.

    I will check out JBL though...thanks.
     
  7. John S

    John S Producer

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    On the skinny, with or even particularly without a sub, the cheapest speakers I like to use for serious HT, are the Yamaha NS-6390's, 8" woofs, 3 way... $80 a pair shipped to your door. get 3 pair, and double up 2 in parallel for the center if your only 5.1, if your 6.1 hook one up for center and one up for rear.

    Aside from that, the JBL NS system is very good, and I have seen it for around $200.....

    Gooid luck!!!
     
  8. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Yamaha's speakers have never been particularly solid. They have a very thin metalic sound to them. Also, dual center speakers are rarely ever a good idea. Combing, cancelation, destructive and constructive interference, and room interaction can cause nasty peaks and lulls which will be even more aparent with dual centers. You can also cause the center image to become muddy since it's being derived from two ofset mono sources instead of a single centered source. The same reason running without a center can be bad for dialogue is why 2 centers is usually bad for dialogue, imaging is usually not great on lower end speakers, especially when there's no true stereo effect, only dual mono.

    If you do go w/ the yamaha speakers, use one as a center and hold on to the other so you'll be ready if you ever decide to go 6.1.
     
  9. John S

    John S Producer

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    That is what they say Stephen, but personal experience, says the dual center is a winner for me. But, one is sufficient, if you have a bright reciever as many Yamaha's can be, may not be the best choice I agree. With laid back amps / recievers they usually do a good job for the money.

    The S series JBL's are some of my favorites ever, I just don't like the sound of their s-center channel speaker though at all. More just personal preference than anything I can really nail down about them though. I think in general just a tad to bright for dialog for me maybe.
     
  10. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Um, people, for the life of me I cannot figure out why we are discussing selecting speaker systems in the Receivers/Amps section. This thread has been moved to the appropriate area.
     
  11. Kenny_H

    Kenny_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey, check out the Polk 5 piece RM-6005 speaker system ($249.00) and the Polk PSW-202W SubWoofer ($199.00). I have these matched w/a Denon AVR-2803 reciever in a 18"x10' living room w/ 9' ceiling. Music & movies sound great w/ this system.
     

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