Speaker recommendations for around $600? (need all five speakers)

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by John_Klimek, May 16, 2005.

  1. John_Klimek

    John_Klimek Extra

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    I'd like to get a receiver and speakers (front, rear, and center only, no subwoofer) for around $1000. After doing some research it looks like the Pioneer 1015 for $400 is a really good deal so thats probably the receiver I'm going to get... (please feel free to comment further on the receiver!)

    So after buying the receiver I need to buy speakers. For now I only want the main five speakers (front, rear, and center) and no subwoofer. I'm hoping I can get a good setup with those five speakers for $600.

    The sound system will rarely be used for music and will most often be used for movies and video games (eg. X-BOX Dolby Digital 5.1). We will also be watching a good amount of standard definition TV.

    Anybody have any recommendations for me?
     
  2. KenLeBlanc

    KenLeBlanc Stunt Coordinator

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    You might be able to find some Athena's on Clearance as the new line is coming out. You could possibly get the AS-F2's for mains, C1 for center and B1's, B2's or R1's for rears.
     
  3. Mark Dill

    Mark Dill Stunt Coordinator

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    Since you are mainly using this for HT and video games, bass is going to be important for you. So this is going to be tough, staying under $600, and getting good quality speakers with a lot of bass. Start with Swan 2.1's for the mains, for $300. They are probably the best speaker you are going to find for under $500/pair. Then if you really need to stay under $600, you'll need to go cheap for your surrounds and center. Personally, I prefer running without a center channel. (especially compared to a cheap one - your mains are good, so use those) Your system will sound fine without a center, especially if you don't have a huge room. So pick up some cheap surrounds (JBL E10?) for about $100. Then get a Dayton sub for $130. Add cables and you will be just under $600. Or if you can spend $750, get 2 pairs of Swan 2.1's and the Dayton sub. This would be ideal for you, IMO.
     
  4. VinhT

    VinhT Second Unit

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    A nice retail option is the Infinity Primus line available at Circuit City. Two pairs of 150's and a C25 comes to $540. Leaves a bit of change leftover for tax or speaker stands if you need them.
     
  5. Don Scott

    Don Scott Stunt Coordinator

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    You could go with this JBL Northridge setup from Etronics.com. They have 30% of their remaining JBLs. Note this setup is in BEECH colour only:

    2 pairs of E30's ($297.76)
    1 EC25 ($119)

    That's a total of $416.78 before shipping. The E30's extend to 50hz so you will get some decent bass since you will not be using a sub.
    Here's a link to the site, good luck!
    http://www.etronics.com/mysearchcat....id=4152&store=
     
  6. Leigh_M

    Leigh_M Stunt Coordinator

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    I think the Athena option listed above would be a great choice. I've seen the F2's for $399 shipped.

    I also think a sub would make a big difference. I would considering picking up the Onkyo 602 refurbished for $250 and use the money saved to put toward the dayton sub.
     
  7. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Mark's recomendation of the Swans 2.1s is a good one. I would Go w/ 4 2.1s for now ($600 + sh) and add a C3 center later.
     
  8. BillyHC

    BillyHC Agent

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    I currently own a pair of Athena F2's (400) and the Point 5's (200) for a total of 7 speakers at exactly $600. The point5's come with 4 bookshelves and one center, so you can easily just go with that and a AS-400 for sub and stay under $600 with a 5.1 set up.

    works great with my yamaha receiver and pb12-ultra for a sub to get a 7.1 set up
     
  9. John_Klimek

    John_Klimek Extra

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    Thanks for all of the recommendations!

    It seems like most people are recommending the Paradigm Atoms (or perhaps Titans). The problem is that a lot of people are also recommending several other brands (Onix Rockets, JBL, Athena, Swan 2.1s).

    Do any retail stores (eg. Circuit City or Best Buy) carry any of these brands? I know Best Buy sells Athena, but they are only available online (at least in my area). I'd say I'm mostly interested in hearing Paradigm Atoms/Titans, Swan 2.1s, and Rocket RS150s...
     
  10. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    The Paradigms are available retail, but usually in smaller home audio/video shops (not big box stores). Onix and Swans are internet-direct companies which is the main reason they can offer such great price/performance ratios. JBL is available from Best Buy and other bigbox stores but at a high premium to what you can get it for from authorized online dealers.
     
  11. StephenBrandon

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    Mark,
    Where can you get the Swans for $300? I keep finding them for at least 450, usually around 500 or so. I'm planning on going with some lower priced and lower quality speakers (probably Athena's at this point), but if I could find the Swans for $300 would probably go with them, and just wait on getting a center channel. (I'm working with a budget closer to 4-500, see the thread I started "Home Theatre on a very small budget")
     
  12. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    The Swans 2.1s in the faux black cherry finish are $300. The real rosewood veneer finish is $450. The only authorized dealer of Swans in the US is www.theaudioinsider.com . TAE does have some listings on audiogon too, but they simply redirect you to their website.
     
  13. MikeNg

    MikeNg Second Unit

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    John,

    AV123 is running a special on their RS150 bookshelves. Their rosewood model says it's sold out, but I've read they'll be getting more in June. Call them if you're interested in that veneer. You can get the full 5 speakers for 6 bills. This is a no-brainer.

    Mike
     
  14. Greg Thomas

    Greg Thomas Second Unit

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    You can also get the Athena's, 4B1's and a C1 center for under $300. That'll leave you plenty of $$ for a sub like the Dayton or better. You could even get 2 floorstanding F1's, 2B1's, C1 and Dayton sub for just over $500.
     
  15. james_stewart

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    Take a look at Aperionaudio.com I own their 422s 5.0 setup. It cost me $520. I actually went to their office and tested them in their little showroom. The speakers are nothing short of remarkable, the build quality is unmatchable in this price range, and the staff is Aone. This may sound like i'm pimping their speakers, but i'm just real happy with this product. They have few extra incentives also, go check out their website.

    ~james
     
  16. StephenBrandon

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    Oops, wrong thread to post this in, sorry about that. But I would still appreciate your input (and suggest the Athena's [if you can still find them] as a good choice for budget speakers.)

    Ok, update: I had checked out best buy and found that I could get the floor models of the Athena AS-F1's for about 150 for the pair. After someone over at avsforums pointed me at a coupon for 30% off of open box items, I realized that after tax I could get the pair for 110.74, so I went for it and the pair is now sitting in my living room having replaced my (very old) Advent Legacy II's. I'm very happy with them so far, and plan to get a C1 as soon as I can find one (I think I can order one from Bestbuy.com for about $90). I haven't decided what to do about the surrounds just yet, I'll probably wait a little while on them and see what's going to work best for the room setup (it's a rather odd room, I think I'll have to be hanging one on a door). But there's no real rush (unless I find another incredible deal like that!) as I won't be moving downstairs into that room until my current roomate moves out in late July.

    I do have one slight concern, and that's a quiet but definately audible poping/cracking noise I heard occasionally coming from the speakers when i first hooked them up. I was watching a Tivo'd Star Trek episode and in certan spots I heard the popping. It seemed to be tied to certain places in the recording (I rewound and replayed it a few times). I was really worried until I tried it on some other recordings that were at a higher level, and some live TV and some DVD's and such and didn't hear any of the poping sounds. I'm guessing it's just becuase of the low quality of the recording, but my old speakers didn't seem to do it (though admittedly they probalby don't have the same range as the new ones at all). Should I be at all concerned about this? Or should I just chalk it up to the source material? And even if it is just the source material (as I'm now pretty certain it is) could it still be hurting the speakers? Should I just set a baseline for all my recordings of at least medium quality? Of course it's possible that this was just this one episode, who knows, but just any thoughts would be apreciated.
     
  17. Don Scott

    Don Scott Stunt Coordinator

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    Stephen,
    Did you check out the Athena AS-R1 Dipole Surround Speakers. They should be easier to place since they are wall mountable. And they will be reduced in price like all the audition series.
    AS-R1 dimensions: 7.1"H x 12.4"W x7.1"D
    Here's some info:
    http://athenaspeakers.com/modelASR1specs.htm
     
  18. StephenBrandon

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    Don,
    Unfortunatly, even the 7.1" might be a little much for what I'm doing, they're also somewhat expensive for my budget (about $80 each). Someone somewhere told me they're actually only 6.5" deep, so if I can find them extra cheap or something I'll consider them a little more carefully, but I'll probably just wait a while on getting the surrounds as it'll be a few months before I can move my stuff in the the room it'll ultimately be in, and it's looking like I might have a few lean weeks in terms of pay coming up so it's probably best that I didn't blow my whole budget all in one fell swoop.
     

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