Small Budget Speakers...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JeffreyG, Jul 15, 2002.

  1. JeffreyG

    JeffreyG Agent

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am looking to add some speakers to a receiver I am going to buy (either Pioneer 811s or Onkyo 600). I know alot of folks seem to go for the JBL NSPs, but what about the Home Theater Direct Level Ones? Anyone have them? I am going for small budget right now and later on will go bigger and I like the $149 price....

    Any suggestions would be great...
     
  2. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 1998
    Messages:
    2,917
    Likes Received:
    11
    Welcome to the Home Theater Forum. I would suggest you give the Paradigm Atom's a listen. They should be around that price, but have a great sound for the price.
     
  3. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    1,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Real Name:
    Greg
    Marty, that's $149 for the 5.1 set of speakers. The Atoms are nice but a 5.1 set will probably exceed his budget.

    Jeffrey,
    Since you are getting a nice receiver I would get a pair of decent speakers and slowly add to the system. Although the HTD L1s are OK, you could do much better by buying in stages.
     
  4. JeffreyG

    JeffreyG Agent

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Greg...
    I am sure you can understand the wife factor. She has given me the ok, but with limits and time also. That is why I would like to get a decent set around $250 or less ideally. What about Cambridge Soundworks? In the future, I will certainly get another set and use what I get for this on a bedroom type system.
    Thanks for the help because the wife window only opens for so long [​IMG]
     
  5. Jeff_Fitz

    Jeff_Fitz Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you want to get a good quality receiver and keep the speaker price down, you might want to look at Home Theater In a Box offerings on the market right now.

    The models I am referring are not the all-in-one's you see with no upgradability, but a package which includes the receiver, a set of 5.1 speakers, and usually some speaker wire.

    There are quite a few to choose from, but the Onkyo HTS650 and the Denon DHT-683XP look the most promising IMHO. With both of these systems you get a strong reciever without paying much for the speakers. Unfortunately, both receivers are 5.1, not 6.1 like the ones you are looking at.

    Hope that helps,

    Jeff
     
  6. JeffreyG

    JeffreyG Agent

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Jeff....

    I have looked at the HTIB systems, but they are looked down upon so much I have kind of gotten away from them. Pioneer has one (720) that comes with 6 speakers, Sub, the 811s and a DVD player for around $550. I think if I can't get a good idea of what speakers set I can get for around $250, I may go that route.
     
  7. Jeff_Fitz

    Jeff_Fitz Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jeffrey:
    I don't think there is any need to look down upon HTIB's. If someone is looking at the Denon AVR-683 or Pioneer 811S anyway, and has a limited speaker budget, they make a lot of sense.
    When you are looking at the ones with a DVD player included, you have to decide whether that is the DVD player you want too. You don't want to be settling on the player and the speakers just because you are getting a package deal.
    It doesn't sound like your budget is very flexible right now. If you think it might get more flexible, check out this buyers guide to 5.1 speaker systems with MSRP's in the $500 to $1000 USD range.
    Jeff
     
  8. JeffreyG

    JeffreyG Agent

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Jeff...

    Us newbies get a little nervous at the response to HTIB. What do you think of the Pioneer 720 HTIB I mentioned? Has the 811s, DVD Player and speakers for about $550. They have a 725 system coming out that is the same except the DVD player is progressive scan and DVD-Audio, but not sure how much it will be.
     
  9. Jeff_Fitz

    Jeff_Fitz Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sounds great. Lots of goodies. I would expect the price to climb with the addition of progressive scan and DVD-Audio. When is it expected to come out?

    A couple of thoughts... What I have heard is that the 811S is great for HT and OK for music. Add that to the HTIB speakers, and I am pretty sure you won't be acheiving an audiophile type experience even with the higher fidelity of DVD-Audio. As long as Home Theater is your focus and not music, the 725 should be a good option.

    Jeff
     
  10. Jeff_Fitz

    Jeff_Fitz Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just checked the Pioneer site. The MSRP on the 725 is $1000. Not sure what that translates into in a street price in your area, but it sounds like we would be testing the upper limit of your price range.
     
  11. JeffreyG

    JeffreyG Agent

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jeff...

    Any suggestions on another receiver? I certainly want good movie experience, but don't want to sacrifice music since this will be my main music system also.
     
  12. Jeff_Fitz

    Jeff_Fitz Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can make some suggestions, but you should really go out and do some comparison shopping with your own music. It is much easier to hear the difference in equipment with music, than movies. That said, you want to audition the same movie with each receiver too.

    I did a head to head comparison of the Denon AVR-1602 and the Yamaha RXV-530. The Yamaha had more features, but I liked the musical performance of the Denon better. You need to decide which approach you would rather take. The Pioneer is a great value with plenty of features. The Onkyo SR500 is around the same price point, offers less features, but may be a better quality unit. You need to decide which way you want to go.

    At the risk of insulting somebody out there, its like this...

    If they were the same price, would you be more likely to buy a loaded Hyundai Tiburon or a base model Acura RSX. Personally, I would buy the Acura.

    I am really going to go out on a limb here and give you my view on the quality ladder in home audio (I am preparing for the flames that are likely to follow):
    Rung #1 - Pioneer, Kenwood, Sony, JVC, Panasonic
    Rung #2 - Denon, Onkyo, Marantz, Harmon Kardon, Yamaha
    Rung #3 - Stuff that is out of your price range right now :)
    ...and so on

    If you want to step up to "Rung #2", some specific receivers you may want to consider are:
    Denon AVR-1603 (5.1) and AVR-1803 (6.1)
    Onkyo TX-SR500 (5.1) and TX-SR600 (6.1)
    Marantz SR4200 (5.1) and SR5200 (6.1)
    Harmon Kardon AVR125 (5.1) and AVR-225 (5.1)
    Yamaha RX-V530 (5.1) and RX-V630 (6.1)

    I hope this made some sense,


    Jeff
     
  13. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2000
    Messages:
    3,171
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Central FL
    Real Name:
    Phil
    The Radio Shack RCA PRO-LX550s when they go on sale for half price are in my opinion a nice step-up from the theater in a box speakers. When they go on sale they are $75 each. The also have a couple of small subs that go on sale several times a year for $99 and $149. I have the $99 one on my computer speakers. It certainly is not horrible althought I'm sure for HT it may lack some kick vs. the more expensive ones. Costco also has some good deals ig you have one near where you live or you can browse some of their stuff online at www.costco.com. I've seen a 10 inch 120W powered KLH sub for $99 from time to time in the stores as well as deals on the theater in a box speakers. www.hifi.com may have specials or close-outs as well.
     
  14. JeffreyG

    JeffreyG Agent

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks guys...

    I am going to look at the Denon and Onkyo a bit more closely, esp. the ones with 6.1. I don't have the need for 6.1 now, but when the opportunity comes, I like the get the "most up to date" as I can.
     
  15. JeffreyG

    JeffreyG Agent

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Still looking...

    My stategy is to put a little more money in the reciever right now...I like the Onkyo 600. I really like the Marantz 5200, but not sure I can swing it.

    Are the HTD Level Ones just not that good for a beginner system? What about KLH or Cambridge?
     
  16. Jeff_Fitz

    Jeff_Fitz Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    0
    I haven't heard the Level One's so I can't say for sure, but for $149 I think it's pretty safe to say they are not up to the quality of the SR600.

    Have you considered just starting with the fronts you want for your end system and adding the rest of the pieces later as more budget becomes available?

    Alternatively, you could even buy speakers for fronts now that will become surrounds later. That seems to be a fairly common practice.
     
  17. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2000
    Messages:
    1,213
    Likes Received:
    1
    At this stage of the game I would go with a lightweight receiver (used, possibly on sale - I bought a new Yamaha RX-V496 about a year and a half ago for $200) and put the vast majority of your budget towards speakers unless you will be upgrading the speakers soon (within a year). KLH speakers are okay. They are excellent budget speakers though do not put out a refined sound. My 9912s will go deeper than my nOrh 3.0s did (sold) but the 3.0s put out a higher quality sound. For a budget system, personally I would get a new/used receiver for $200 or so (Kenwood or Sony), Sony SA-WM40 for $150, and 5 of the nOrh 3.0s ($375). However, they will only sound good in a small to medium size room.
    You also may want to give Energy speakers some consideration or look at used gear as you often can find substantial savings and wonderful deals.
     
  18. JeffreyG

    JeffreyG Agent

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    I haven't heard the Energy speakers, but they look nice. I am looking for smaller speakers (my wife loved the look of the JBL 135 system) and the energy seems to fit that.

    I am now also looking at the Yamaha RXV630/HTR5560 since I can get one for about $329 and seems to have all the features (not sure about on screen menus)
     
  19. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2001
    Messages:
    963
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jeffrey, I agree with Bryan. If you're really worried about music as well, then the biggest part of your system is the speakers. The Pioneer 811S, The Onkyo SR600 and the Yamaha 5560 may all be slightly different but they are all in the same basic price range and are not going to have major differences in usage quality. So, with that in mind, I wouldn't spend more money on the receiver but instead put away more money on the speakers. You are more likely to upgrade the receiver first anyhow than you are the speakers due to changes in technology (new decoding formats, new features, more inputs/outputs, etc.). So, you could save/spend more or you could start building your system a little at a time. The Energy speakers someone mentioned get very good reviews - the Take 5.2 system is the one you'd want to look at. It may be well above your price range currently but I think it's considered a very good "budget" speaker set. If you really don't have the money to spend, then you could just pick up a cheap pair of 5.1 speakers with the knowledge that you'll probably be replacing them whenever you're able to save the money to do so. I'd stick with the Yamaha 5560 or Pioneer 811S at that price point (~$350) and then figure out how much you want to spend on speakers.

    good luck,


    --tom
     
  20. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 1998
    Messages:
    1,867
    Likes Received:
    0
    IMHO, if you're interested in a speaker set that over achieves in performance vs. price, then I recommend the JBL NSP1's.
    The JBL advantage vs. the Take 5 system is;
    1) The JBL NSP1 is easy to match and blend w/just about any sub since it has usable lower frequency = 89 Hz (see below) vs. the Take 5.1 110 Hz.
    S&V Speaker Frequency Benchmark:
    JBL NSP1
    Frequency Response
    N24 front left/right.... 89 Hz to 18.9 kHz ±2.7 dB
    N-Center................ 89 Hz to 20 kHz ±5.5 dB
    N24 surround............ 89 Hz to 18.4 kHz ±3.2 dB
    Energy Take 5.1
    Frequency Response
    Take 2.2 front left/right.. 110 Hz to 16.3 kHz ±4.5 dB
    Take 1.2 center............ 110 Hz to 17.4 kHz ±4.5 dB
    Take 2.2 surround.......... 110 Hz to 13.2 kHz ±3.2 dB
    NOTE: The JBL NSP1, once broken-in (about 120 hours) has flatter SPL Frequency response across it's designed range.
    2) JBL NSP1 w/any 10" to 15" sub will reproduce the local Cinema Theater SPL and sound better (told to me for the last 2 1/2 years in my 20' x 30' w/10' high vaulted ceiling HT/family room)
    Quotes:
    1) About the original Take 5 - 1997 Stereo Review article "Baby Grands" by Corey Greenberg (pg. 80)
     

Share This Page