What components will I need for a basic bookshelf system?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Jeremy_SG, Nov 26, 2004.

  1. Jeremy_SG

    Jeremy_SG Auditioning

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    I have no experience at all with any form of speaker systems so please be patient with me since I probably will ask some very basic questions. Ok, with that being said I’m looking into getting a good sounding system that will only be used to play music in our family room. Our family only listens to Classical music, piano, and some very mellow rock but we never play bass heavy music so the system doesn’t have to have heavy bass but I would still like to have enough to make it sound realistic.

    So, right now I’m looking into some budget priced bookshelf speakers but I have no idea what else I’ll need to buy for them to be able to play CDs. If you could help me get a good idea of all the components that I’ll need and how to set it up I would greatly appreciate it. I would also like to say that we are trying to stay under $250 (US) for the whole system which I understand is a very low budget for a good sounding system but we really can’t afford any more.

    Thanks so much for your help, Jeremy
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Jeremy.

    You have a bit of a problem as bookshelf speakers wont produce any sounds below about 100-120 hz. I know you said you did not typically play bass-heavy tracks, but this is very different from no-bass.

    You need 2 bookshelf speakers and a external subwoofer. (no the woofer is not optional).

    My have 2 suggestions for you:

    - go to ebay/craigs-list and look for used systems
    - go to your favorite computer store and listen to computer speaker systems (which you can also find on ebay).

    The computer speakers are nice because in almost all cases, the subwoofer is self-powered. Un-powered (or 'passive') woofers are cheaper, but depend on your amplifer for power.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Jeremy_SG

    Jeremy_SG Auditioning

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    Thanks for your reply Bob. After doing a little more research it looks as though a bookshelf system will be out of my price range so I’m leaning more towards the Klipsch Promedia 2.1. I know that this probably won’t be the best sounding speaker system but I don’t really need anything too fancy.

    If I did go ahead and buy the Klipsch 2.1 system what would be the best way to play CDs with it? So far the only separate budget priced CD players that I’ve seen are the ones that have the speakers built into them. Do they sell cheaper priced CD players that don’t come with speakers in them? Thanks.
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Well.... the simple walkman-style portable CD players do a good job for about $40. If you have a self-powered speaker system like the computer speakers.

    so you need an entire system? (sorry, I thought you were just looking at speakers).

    Search the shopping sites for "Mini Systems". There are some like the Panasonic SC-DP1 for about $140. Different systems will play MP3's (which can make a single-disk system give you many hours of music), or multi-CD systems for a bit more money.
     
  5. Jeremy_SG

    Jeremy_SG Auditioning

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    Would I be able to get better sound out of a Klipsch 2.1 system instead of a comparably priced mini system? For some reason I thought that the Klipsch 2.1 would be a better overall choice but maybe I’m wrong. Thanks again for your help.
     
  6. chuckg

    chuckg Supporting Actor

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    This may sound demeaning, but why not take a trip to a few stereo stores and check out a few systems?

    I don't think you need a subwoofer with bookshelf speakers. People have been running decent speakers for years without a separate sub, and they sound fine. You may just need to tweak the tone controls a bit.

    There are some very nice-looking and nice-sounding systems with a pair of speakers and AM/FM/CD. And I don't mean a boom box, I mean something that would look OK in an executive office.

    In GENERAL, and don't yell at me about specific variations, but in genereal, a larger speaker will sound smoother and have better bass (at the same quality/price level) than smaller speakers.

    Just itty off to Best Buy, Radio Shack, and that other electronics store, and give things a listen. Try out a few high-end shops if you like to drool.

    Have fun, and insist that you stay within budget. And, do not, under any circumstance, buy that ridiculous extended warranty.


    "Chow."
     
  7. Jeremy_SG

    Jeremy_SG Auditioning

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    I have another quick question. If a bookshelf speaker has a 6 inch woofer with a midrange and a tweeter why would I need to get a subwoofer to go with it? Wouldn’t the 6 inch woofer built into the speaker be sufficient?
     
  8. John S

    John S Producer

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    Well, you need to look at the specs. Some bookshelf speakrs produce awesome base.

    I use JBL S38's, now discontinued. But maybe do a search on S26's, there are still some around and probably meets your price range quite nicely.

    I chose the S38's at $250 a pair or so, over any other speaker, they were not chosen on budget.

    Best of luck.
     
  9. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    lots of good advice here. combine everything and you should set. here's my take.

    250 is a little tight, but i think you can do it. based upon your posts, i don't think you're necessarily looking for top-flight speaker performance. i bet if you can get most of the dynamic range, you'll be happy.

    for about 150 bucks, you can get some nice speaker options. here's a couple that we sell at bb that may be a good choice.

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....3&type=product

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....3&type=product

    those are both excellent performing speakers at decent price.

    as far as the receiver goes, it sounds like you only need stereo and that ht isn't important to you? if so, we only have one stereo receiver (a sony) which isn't that good. go with something like a yamaha or pioneer receiver instead.

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....1&type=product

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....1&type=product

    ----

    so you're looking at closer to 350 retail. that may stretch your budget some, but it will *definitely* be worth it. also, the suggestions to look on ebay etc is a great option. and, as already said, you absolutely must go audition some gear yourself - that way, you'll know what's available and what options you have.
     

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