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Bookshelf speakers + av receiver or high-end 2.1 system?

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May 29, 2014 7:20:36 PM

My search started when I purchased a pair of "Pioneer SP-BS41-LR 2 CH Bookshelf " ($80) because I thought these would do the job (gaming, movies, and music). When they arrived I realized they were huge and no subwoofer. My question is do I keep these speakers and buy a subwoofer for $80 or return the speakers and just look for a 2.1 system. Keep in mind I have zero "audio tech" experience. If there more to just buying two bookshelf speakers and throwing in a subwoofer I will get lost so if there is more to be known, I think I would prefer a 2.1 system from Logitech or something.

If I go with a 2.1 system I would love to stay within the $150 mark, but please offer solutions for $100-$150 and then from $150-$230. I will definitely consider higher-end systems if they are better bang for my buck and are just an overall better investment or a little more future proof. Thank you so much, your help means a lot.

My current bookshelf speakers:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Possible subwoofer to go with the speakers above:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2.1 systems I have considered:
http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-980-000402-Speaker-Syste...

http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Z623-2-1-Speaker-System/...

(I don't know why Amazon has this system listed twice with two different prices, if someone knows please let me know, thanks.)

http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-ProMedia-Certified-Comput...
a b 4 Gaming
May 29, 2014 7:27:54 PM

Return them and get either of those overly loud 2.1 systems.
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Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
May 30, 2014 8:02:22 AM

first off, to power those bookshelf speakers you have you will need an amplifier. they should be more than capable of some decent bass response even without a subwoofer added. they are 130w @ 6ohm so you would need an amplifier around those values to get the most out of them. what amplifier are you currently using for them? with the right amp i'm sure they would sound great (better than pc speakers).

that subwoofer is powered. meaning it doesnt need to be amped. meaning that to connect up to it all you would need is to come out of your soundcard cen/sub port with a 3.5mm stereo to 2x rca mono then connect the subwoofer rca up to the sub (normally its the red one). thats it.

the klipsch promedia is a complete piece of garbage. the subwoofer completely overpowers the satelites even at its minimum setting. while i respect klipsch (i own a 5.1 set from them and it sounds fantastic) this is not their finest work and it is best to avoid. build quality was quite excellent and sound quality was decent however the mismatch between sub and sats makes it very bad.

the z623 is a fairly decent pair of speakers. some of the nicer ones meant for computers if you like bass output. clearer speakers would be something like the creature III or soundsticks III perhaps but without as much bass.

the corsair 2.1 set also gets decent marks http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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typically going with bookshelf speakers is the next step above pc speakers. typically (provided you get good speakers) quality is above what you will find on such sets.

you really need to say what kind of an amp you are running those speakers on and why you dont like them (why you want to look for something else)

personally i'd probably stay the home theater system route.. more quality down that road if you have the budget for it (and it appears like you do. also it seems like those speakers you bought are absolutely top notch for the money spent. you wont find better in computer speakers likely.
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May 30, 2014 10:33:21 AM

I'm pretty anti computer speakers not because they are bad. Audio wise I look to the future on how I can use some speakers I bought new/used at a thrift store/garage sale. Computer speakers are hard to integrate since they are pretty much a closed system and wasted money down the road if you plan on something better in the future.

The speakers you bought seem ok but I've never heard them, which is the true test. They seem decent for the price, then the Dayton's would be much cheaper but wouldn't save you much room but would offer better bass. Like these with a Dayton sub.

Front mains http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-b652-6-1-2-2-way-bookshelf-speaker-pair--300-652
Sub http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-sub-1000-10-100-watt-powered-subwoofer--300-628. These take you under the 150.00 budget and will most likely blow away most computer speaker sets. Also, "SSDDX" as usual asked a good question, what is powering these speakers?


If you want something small, you will have to go the mini monitor and sub woofer route or computer speakers. Even though I'm not a big fan of Polk but they can build some decent speakers if priced right. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=82-290-268 They are a little smaller but IF you want a lot bass, you will still need a sub.

150.00 is a very tough budget to work with unless you get some used stuff.

be seeing you, the Prisoner...
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May 30, 2014 2:31:34 PM

ssddx said:
first off, to power those bookshelf speakers you have you will need an amplifier. they should be more than capable of some decent bass response even without a subwoofer added. they are 130w @ 6ohm so you would need an amplifier around those values to get the most out of them. what amplifier are you currently using for them? with the right amp i'm sure they would sound great (better than pc speakers).

that subwoofer is powered. meaning it doesnt need to be amped. meaning that to connect up to it all you would need is to come out of your soundcard cen/sub port with a 3.5mm stereo to 2x rca mono then connect the subwoofer rca up to the sub (normally its the red one). thats it.

the klipsch promedia is a complete piece of garbage. the subwoofer completely overpowers the satelites even at its minimum setting. while i respect klipsch (i own a 5.1 set from them and it sounds fantastic) this is not their finest work and it is best to avoid. build quality was quite excellent and sound quality was decent however the mismatch between sub and sats makes it very bad.

the z623 is a fairly decent pair of speakers. some of the nicer ones meant for computers if you like bass output. clearer speakers would be something like the creature III or soundsticks III perhaps but without as much bass.

the corsair 2.1 set also gets decent marks http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

---

typically going with bookshelf speakers is the next step above pc speakers. typically (provided you get good speakers) quality is above what you will find on such sets.

you really need to say what kind of an amp you are running those speakers on and why you dont like them (why you want to look for something else)

personally i'd probably stay the home theater system route.. more quality down that road if you have the budget for it (and it appears like you do. also it seems like those speakers you bought are absolutely top notch for the money spent. you wont find better in computer speakers likely.


Thank you for reply. I have no amplifier or anything and I have no idea what I am doing. I just bought these cause they looked decent they got 5 stars on Newegg. I would not mind keeping the bookshelf speakers and buying an amplifier, but I have no idea which one I would get and the pricing. They are still in the box, I thought these were just plug and play like any other computer speakers. I know I'm stupid for not researching stuff first, but sometimes you get excited and you just have to buy things. :) 

Also, I did not understand any of the following:
"that subwoofer is powered. meaning it doesnt need to be amped. meaning that to connect up to it all you would need is to come out of your soundcard cen/sub port with a 3.5mm stereo to 2x rca mono then connect the subwoofer rca up to the sub (normally its the red one). thats it."

I found this one on Amazon, would this do the job?

http://www.amazon.com/Sherwood-RX-4109-Stereo-Receiver-...
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a b 4 Gaming
May 30, 2014 3:26:28 PM

to put it simply:
the subwoofer you linked to has a power plug so it plugs into the wall. this means that it has an amplifier inside it (so it doesnt need to hook up to an amp). this would connect right up to your computer without any need for special equpiment. all you would need is a cable like this http://www.amazon.com/Cable-feet-3-5mm-Stereo-Splitter/... with the 3.5mm end plugged into the yellow jack on your computer and the red one (most likely its the red one) to that subwoofers left (normally its the left if only connecting a single) input. it should then work fine.

as for an amplifier:
those speakers are 130w at 6ohm so that is what is required for an amp.

i'm sure that thee_prisoner will be able to give you a more expensive but nicer amp suggestion so i'll just handle the cheap ones:

this for $50 http://www.amazon.com/Pyle-PCA4-2x120-Stereo-Amplifier/... may work for adequate volume levels but it wont max out the speakers and might have some distortion at high volume levels.

this for $104 http://www.amazon.com/PylePro-PT560AU-300-Watt-Digital-... has more than enough juice to power the speakers so will have less distortion. its not high end stuff but it should work for you.

i found this for $130 http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-Natural-Stereo-Receiver-R-... which looks to be able to handle those speakers. it also is quite a bit better in quality than the pyle units. this would be my first choice.

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with the amp and your already bought speakers it should be a pretty decent system.

i would try it out with just the speakers to see if you even want a subwoofer or not. you might be happy with the 2.0 as it is or you might want the sub. i would make that call later (or you can make it now... thats your choice).
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May 30, 2014 6:33:44 PM

ssddx said:
to put it simply:
the subwoofer you linked to has a power plug so it plugs into the wall. this means that it has an amplifier inside it (so it doesnt need to hook up to an amp). this would connect right up to your computer without any need for special equpiment. all you would need is a cable like this http://www.amazon.com/Cable-feet-3-5mm-Stereo-Splitter/... with the 3.5mm end plugged into the yellow jack on your computer and the red one (most likely its the red one) to that subwoofers left (normally its the left if only connecting a single) input. it should then work fine.

as for an amplifier:
those speakers are 130w at 6ohm so that is what is required for an amp.

i'm sure that thee_prisoner will be able to give you a more expensive but nicer amp suggestion so i'll just handle the cheap ones:

this for $50 http://www.amazon.com/Pyle-PCA4-2x120-Stereo-Amplifier/... may work for adequate volume levels but it wont max out the speakers and might have some distortion at high volume levels.

this for $104 http://www.amazon.com/PylePro-PT560AU-300-Watt-Digital-... has more than enough juice to power the speakers so will have less distortion. its not high end stuff but it should work for you.

i found this for $130 http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-Natural-Stereo-Receiver-R-... which looks to be able to handle those speakers. it also is quite a bit better in quality than the pyle units. this would be my first choice.

---

with the amp and your already bought speakers it should be a pretty decent system.

i would try it out with just the speakers to see if you even want a subwoofer or not. you might be happy with the 2.0 as it is or you might want the sub. i would make that call later (or you can make it now... thats your choice).


To end my post here, what is the best AV receiver around $130 or around $200 (I prefer to stay around $130, but I also want best quality around $200). I think this the path I will take. I am debating between these two:

http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-Natural-Stereo-Receiver-R-...

http://www.amazon.com/Sherwood-RX-4109-Stereo-Receiver-...

My last question is, the speakers I bought cost me $85, if I buy an amplifier around $130, that puts me at $215-ish invested. Is this an overall better choice over a higher-end 2.1 system like the soundsticks III or corsair's 2.1 system?

The next step would be to decide on a subwoofer of course. That could wait after I try the set up first, but if you feel like suggesting anything go ahead, otherwise thank you guys for you're help!
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June 3, 2014 3:47:43 PM

Bump. ^
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June 3, 2014 7:50:38 PM

On the receiver it depends on what features you want, of course with your budget you won't get much. I don'y know where you live but if you have a stereo store that sells used I would go that route. The Sherwood is 119.00 plus a 5.00 off coupon using SAVE5 code from http://www.parts-express.com/sherwood-rx-4109-stereo-receiver--252-230.

Really hard to say which is better but I like the specs better than the Yami.
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