What are some of better brands of speakers?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Seam Dempsy, Dec 2, 2003.

  1. Seam Dempsy

    Seam Dempsy Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, I dont have a huge budget but I was looking for a Surround Sound system that I can trust and one that will last. But I have no idea what brand is good/bad.

    Thanks for any help,
    SD
     
  2. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

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    Hi Seam. Welcome to the Party!

    Not to dodge your question, but the answer lies in how much you want to spend.

    A Toyota Camry is a great car, but if you have 50K to spend on a vehicle, you can get a heck of a lot more car.

    Don't be afraid to post your range, as you will find the members here more than willing to offer up great suggestions, depending on how much you have to spend.

    Regards,
    --Steve
     
  3. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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  4. Doug Brewster

    Doug Brewster Second Unit

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    Seam,

    What I think you are asking is if there are any good speakers available at less than $1000 a pair...maybe less than $500 a pair, and maybe less than $300 a pair.

    NHT, Axiom, B&W, Paradigm, Kef, PSB. All these come to mind when talking about good speakers at a reasonable price.
    Others might suggest JBL and certain Polk lines as good,
    reliable, and cheap. Less of a bargain but reliable would include Klipsch.

    A general rule:
    Companies that make receivers do not make good speakers.

    A second general rule:
    General rules are not universally true.

    What sounds good to you can only be decided by you. Listen to what you think you can afford, then make your decision...Oh, and as far as lasting, you'll be upgrading later anyway. [​IMG]
     
  5. Seam Dempsy

    Seam Dempsy Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I am only 16 so my budget is around the 200-300 range. I just want a decent system. Not the best and not something extremely cheap which I will just have to replace in a year.
     
  6. Eric Eash

    Eric Eash Second Unit

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    that is about as much as some of these guys spend on a 3ft. video cable. not to knock your budget, cause when i was 16, i had a 14" black and white TV with no VCR and there was no such thing as a dvd. if your $300 budget includes a receiver and a dvd player, you should probably go to any store with electronics and look at the HTIB (Home theater in a box). for starter systems, some of them are down right good. go with a well known company, like pioneer, yamaha, jvc. to save extra, find out the product name and see how much they are going for on ebay, some really great bargains to be had there. if you are just looking for speakers, the best in that price range would have to be the klipsch thx computer 5.1 system. not sure about hooking it up to a receiver though, but i'm sure it's possible, and some dvd players out there have speaker outs as well. but, some other people here might be able to further help, just realize that with that budget, you're very limited as to what you can get that is quality. good luck man, and stick to this forum, there is always someone who can help.

    eric
     
  7. JohnPop

    JohnPop Stunt Coordinator

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  8. John S

    John S Producer

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    What equipment do you have now???
    Do you at least have a TV and DVD??
    Any speakers at all??

    5.1 Will require a 5.1 Reciever, 5 speakers and a sub...

    The cheapest real deal solutions will be closer to $500.

    Depending on your audio and ht tastes, most HTIB's are replaced within a year or two. Only the most casual of listeners are happy with any of these for the long term.

    Refurbished products are your best bet.

    In refurbished you can get a respectable reciever and a 12" powered sub for around $300, but then of course you need a decent speaker package to go with that. With some work maybe $400 could get you there.

    Good luck with your purchase.
     
  9. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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  10. Tim Streagle

    Tim Streagle Stunt Coordinator

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    Go to the reviews and to e-bay and find some good used stuff. People are generally not too keen on buying used speakers. This keeps the auction prices low. You can put together a good sounding system for less than $500 if you spend some time doing your homework and research. The subwoofer will be the most difficult part to obtain, because there are so many bad ones. Save up for this.

    My speakers:
    Magnepan MG-II's $250 (used)
    Aura center and surrounds $151 (used)
    Hsu VTF-2 $500 (new)

    Works for me! (until the upgrade bug bites again)
     
  11. Doug Brewster

    Doug Brewster Second Unit

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    "budget is around the 200-300 range"

    Tough to get all you need for that but here's a suggestion that will come close to what you're asking:

    onecall.com

    Has NHT Superzero's for $75 each. Get 4 or 5 of those and a cheap (KLH for $99 at Costco, or less somewhere else maybe???) sub-woofer. The Superzero's require a sub but will last virtually forever and are good quality. You can upgrade to a good quality subwoofer later, but the KLH will probably be "OK" (for home theater noises) for a while. That's $375 plus shipping for the 5 NHT's, and $100 at any Costco for the sub = $475+ (or $400 if you forgo a center channel for now).

    jandr.com

    Has JBL S26II's for $149 a pair and no shipping charge. They have a center that matches ($129 and no shipping). Not as good as the Superzero's but broader range and you can add a sub later. They also carry a Velodyn Acoustics VX10 sub at $149. That's $458 for the speakers and $149 plus shipping for the sub = $607 (or $558 if you go with the KLH, or the same price as the NHT's without any shipping charge if you forgo the center channel and get the KLH).

    For new stuff that you won't have to replace in a little while, that's probably as good as you can do. Anyone else have currently available suggestions???

    I know these all exceed your budget, but if you want something that doesn't need to be replaced soon (excluding the subs listed above) you will probably have to pay more.

    As far as E-bay goes, Tim did very well, BUT you always are taking a chance that someone who's dishonest has broken/defective stuff for sale. It's hard to know who to trust, but alot of people have no problems and get great bargains (Ranger Tim, your Magnapan's were an incredible bargain! Way to go. Don't know the center/surrounds. What are you driving all this with?).
     
  12. Andrew Pezzo

    Andrew Pezzo Second Unit

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    hometheaterdirect.com has a 5.1 speaker package for $150. I have no experience with it but it gets good reviews. This would leave some funds for a receiver. It would definately be a starter set but you have to get your foot in the door sometime. And for under $300 if you do upgrade sooner rather than later your not losing a lot of money, probably could sell the setup on ebay. Just expect to get the upgrade bug soon after whatever you purchase. Happy hunting.
     
  13. Joshua_M

    Joshua_M Agent

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    Seam Dempsy,

    I sent you an email and PM.
     
  14. AaronMK

    AaronMK Supporting Actor

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    Aaron Karp
    I started with an HTIB system, and it was not long before I was in the "I have to replace this piece of crap" mode.

    I don't know how the $150 Level 1 set from hometheaterdirect.com sounds, but I replaced the HTIB system with their Level 2 set a couple years ago. While it won't be my last speaker purchase, I have been very happy with it. It was much better than what I thought I could get for my college student budget based on what I auditioned at local retailers. Hopefully the experience will be the same for you.

    In any case, don't spend the cash unless you are happy with the result. You probably don't expect to have a system that sounds perfect. However, it is not worth spending money on a system that is not of an acceptable level to you just because you really want 5.1 suround sound now. You want for an acceptable system will just become that much greater, and when you cave in, what you spent on that first system will be money you don't have to spend towards your next one.

    I learned this the hard way.

    There are some great values out there (the HTD Level 1 and Ventroliquist may be some of them) if you look, and hopefully they will meet your needs within you budget.

    Whether you buy now or decide to save a bit more, I wish you much enjoyment with your purchase.
     
  15. Tim Streagle

    Tim Streagle Stunt Coordinator

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    Doug,

    The Maggies are awesome for $250. I did rewire the tweeters in both ($40) for better high end detail. Crossover modifications are next. I love to tinker!

    Aura speakers were sold/restructured or something like that about 2? years ago. There are still quite a few sets, new in the box, that turn up for sale occasionally. The Line Source series feature the Linaeum tweeters and small poly cone woofers with rubber surrounds (Peerless drivers). These speakers are quite a bargain when priced at less than $90 a pair. The Linaeums are very nice with a sweet, detailed response that is closer to a match with Magneplanars than conventional dome tweeters. That is why I tried them. I found out I like them almost as much for mains! They do need a subwoofer for low end, as they fall off quickly below 50Hz. They don't have the boxy, mid-bass coloration that the Rat Shack LX-5's exhibit. The Aura bookshelf's compare favorably with many speakers costing $400-600 a pair. Sound and Vision rated the Aura's very highly. The center speaker is available right now on e-bay cheap. I highly recommend it.

    Oh, I forgot. I use a H/K AVR525 reciever.

    Seam,

    Good luck with your efforts in finding an inexpensive system. Don't limit yourself to prepackaged systems. There's a lot of speakers out there- you just need to find some that work well together. Adding pieces as you can afford them is fun, easier on the wallet, and educational.
     

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