What do I look for in speakers?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Charlie C, Jun 30, 2004.

  1. Charlie C

    Charlie C Stunt Coordinator

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    hello all,


    im looking for speakers.

    currently my budget is like $600 - $700 and Im getting a 6.1 receiver. I will mostly listen to music and Im really wanting to get into multichannel music. BUT I dont want to buy, then upgrade later and then once again. Id rather buy something Ill want for a long time. so Ive decided to look at replacing my only 2 speakers with the best I can get, then fill in the gaps when I can afford them. Currently I have 2 speakers, no name, paper coned 8" woofer, paper coned 2" tweeter. they sound fine at 2 am, but at 2 pm when I want to crank the music, they just dont do it.

    Sooooo, Im wanting to know what is better/best and whatnot. I remember the big kevlar fad a few years ago, are there better materials out there? could I get floorstanders for my budget? would those be better than good bookshelves for the same price?

    so I guess Im either looking for suggestions on two (2) great speakers at $600 - $800. Please, if you suggest something, let me know what you like about the speaker. If you are describing sound, give an example. I dont understand comments like 'warm' or 'bright. my friends dad has b&w's all around and I thought I was in heaven. Dont know the model though but ill try to use that as a reference opoint.

    thanks in advance ;0
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    There's no specific thing to look for. Lots of great speaker companies use kevlar. Lots of great speaker companies don't use kevlar. You could get some floorstanders in your range. Look at the B&W 600 series (602.5) and Axiom Audio (online company) M50ti or M60ti and Swan 5.2's from theaudioinsider.com. There are others out there too, but these are definitely some to look at.
     
  3. Charlie C

    Charlie C Stunt Coordinator

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    thought I had posted something...

    im looking at the b&w's tonite... they arent what I heard but B&W's are like the best huh? ill let you know what I think.
     
  4. Fred_Krampits

    Fred_Krampits Stunt Coordinator

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    Charlie:

    For your budget I would check out JBL's E series, here's a link:

    http://www.jbl.com/home/products/series.asp?SerId=NRE

    For around $700 you can get a sub, 2 fronts, a center and two surrounds. The best place to buy these guys right now is www.jr.com it's a authorized JBL online dealer, and they are selling these at close to 50% off list with free ground shipping and if you don't live in NY, no sales tax.

    I wish I knew about them earlier. I just bought my new JBL E100s from them and the service was great!

    Dollar for dollar these are some of the best speakers around. They will fit you budget and really deliver. I would suggest you look at 2 E60s for the front, a EC25 center, a E150p sub and 2 E10's for surrounds.
     
  5. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Some people think so . . . many do not. Most anybody will agree they are quality speakers, and their Nautilus series is regarded as some of the best around. But they do not fit everyone's taste. Take a listen, but if what you heard at a friend's place was the Nautilus series and you listen to the 600 series you will probably be disappointed.

    Word of advice: Only audition things in or close to your price range. If you start listening to speakers that cost $2000+ per pair you will have a hard time finding something you like in a $600/pair set.
     
  6. Rob Kramer

    Rob Kramer Second Unit

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    99.9999999% of B&W fans will agree with me if I recommend that you go with the 602 (large bookshelf) over the 602.5 (floorstander). The 602.5 is really just a 601 in a tall cabinet. The 602s sound much better (fuller and deeper), and are cheaper (even adding in $100 for stands).


    Other than that, you can still get the Rocket 550s for
     
  7. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I agree with Rob. I just mentioned the 602.5's because Charlie specifically mentioned floorstanders in his original post.
     
  8. ClintS

    ClintS Stunt Coordinator

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    You can get a full 5.1 setup of Bic America's Acoustech at Costco for $699. I have them and really like them. They have horn tweeters which apparently some like and some dont but I love them and they were a great purchase.
     
  9. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    I disagree. Listen to *everything* you possibly can, in, below, and above your pricerange. It really gives you good perspective on what sound qualities are important, what the "kinds" of sounds different brands have, etc.

    And no B&W is not "the best." They are well-regarded, but there is not "best" speaker, as it is very subjective. Audition carefully. I would also include the paradigm studio series, and maybe stretching the budget up a tad. I have mixed feelings on the new studios, but they are still a strong contender.
     
  10. Rory Buszka

    Rory Buszka Supporting Actor

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    The most important thing you can do in buying speakers is listen to them. It is easy to buy a subwoofer on the internet because the hi-fi or home theater enthusiasts crowd has a definite set of desirable characteristics of what makes a "good" sub. Once you get out of that area and into the much less predictable world of speakers, you're on your own to listen and decide which speakers have the transient and tonal characteristics that you find the most pleasing. Otherwise you just have speakers someone else said were good, while the speakers that would have really pleased you are still somewhere out there. Happy hunting.
     
  11. Charlie C

    Charlie C Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks guys,

    I listened to a few last night. M&K B&W Focal

    a few brands they had.

    I just was trying to compare the sound to what I have already. I have crap [​IMG]

    I didnt want to start looking at prices yet, i want to know what my ears are missing first. im going back tonite to take notes.

    mostly I want to hear the vocals and guitars. so midrange clarity is very important. but dang, all of what I listened to yesterday had amazing clarity. I had them play stuff with the sub on and off just for reference......i want a big sub now [​IMG] wow what a difference! its like im missing half of the music without a sub!



    some of the stuff Ive just purchased:

    christina aguilara
    charolete church
    bjork
    pink floyd
    Norah Jones
    Sting
    ...


    I had them turn up 'brain damage' by pink floyd. they turned it way up, but I was grinning the whole time. wow, it sounded goood. my ears didnt even hurt afterward. he played it throught the big b&w's though...

    again, i appreciate the advice guys, one question,
    the guys at the store said my little receiver will distort when I turn it up loud but their amps [the $$$$ amps] dont distort at high levels. is that because of the amount of watts or the guts inside. the sales guys said its the quality of the 'guts'. quality parts and whatnot vs a cheap ass awia receiver, just kinda confusing to me...
     
  12. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    He's right, though you do have to realize he wants to sell you more stuff. Watts aren't the only measure of quality, though certainly watts are not the same as watts. Some receivers and amps have very well-designed circuits and power supplies and really put out the wattage they say they do, and do it well. Most cheesier entry receivers don't approach their rated wattages very well at all but for maybe a brief instant. I would certainly not put something like B&Ws or comparable on an aiwa receiver. You don't have to spend a lot, but there are good brands out there: HK, Marantz, Denon, Pioneer elite, onkyo/integra, rotel, outlaw etc...
     
  13. Fred_Krampits

    Fred_Krampits Stunt Coordinator

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    Your receiver is a big part of whether or not the sound is "good".

    A good receiver can make bad speakers sound better, and make good speakers sound better too! So if your receiver isn't up to the challenge, you may never get the sound you heard in the store.

    That's one of the toughest things to take into consideration. Unless you listen to speakers attached to "your" receiver you really don't know what they sound like.

    Example: My JBLs don't sound at all like they do in the lousy Best Buy display as they do attached to my Pioneer Elite VSX-55TXi. They sound much better with the Pioneer.
     
  14. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    Oh how true. It's sheer high current capacity that makes the dynamic peaks possible...and that depends entirely on the POWER SUPPLY of the receiver/amplifier. A better amp/receiver also give you better bass response. There was a noticeable (although I will admit that it wasn't HUGE, but to me, significant) difference between my Pioneer Elite 53TX and Rotel 1075. And certain amps sound better with certain speakers. It's just as crucial as buying speakers.

    You're at least on the right track in that you're going auditioning. To answer the thread topic, you look for whatever sound you want or you like. All the technical mumbo-jumbo is nice, but not at all indicative of a speaker's performance.
     
  15. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I'm the one who first made the comment about not listening to really high priced speakers. Your quote here is my reasoning behind it (the "keeps me upgrading" part). He mentioned in his first post that he wants to buy once . . . not buy, then upgrade, and upgrade again. I think all of us here realize that money can be spent quickly in this hobby and I think that if someone has a hard and fast budget they should be careful about auditioning really high-end speakers.
     
  16. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    "It's just as crucial as buying speakers."

    I wouldn't go this far. I would say it's too confusing and perhaps needless to worry about amplifiers matching when you're still trying to figure out what kind of speakers to look for.
     
  17. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    Well a Yamaha is going to sound oogles different than an H/K. The same set of speakers running on both is going to sound different, so how are you suppose to make a choice of speakers unless you hear them powered by what it's going to be powered with? My Athenas sound like crap with a Yamaha, but sound great with a Pioneer Elite.

    I trust good dealers to make good matches in that department. Stores like Best Buy that still sell good speakers (like the Athenas)...their setups may not do justice to these speakers.
     
  18. Charlie C

    Charlie C Stunt Coordinator

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    well im in love...with $1100/pr speakers...
    JMLAB Electra 906's.

    ok so they are out of my range...Im sure Ill stick with the B&W's, but wow did they sound good.

    here is what im getting:
    marantz 4400
    b&w 602's
    sony dvd/a sacd player
    diy sub [havent started research]

    ok so the budget went up a bit. but I think I can pull off a real nice 2 channel system and not have to upgrade for a long time. If I can get a good ported sub from adire going, I think I can have this all done by september [​IMG]

    then all I have to get is matching b&w 602's and external amps for HT use and im set [​IMG]

    what do you all think?
     
  19. Rob Kramer

    Rob Kramer Second Unit

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    Sony does DVD-A? It is the DAY AFTER TOMORROW!
     
  20. HowardLi

    HowardLi Extra

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    You can definitely get a lot more for your money if you DIY.
     

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