Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Home Theater Speakers, how do I chose?

Last response: in Components
Share
February 2, 2004 3:22:47 PM

I have two PCs and a few other devices all connected digitally to a Pioneer VSX-D912K receiver. Its not THX certified, but for a $350 receiver it has received some excellent reviews.

http://reviews.cnet.com/4505-6466_7-20846629.html?tag=s...

The problem is that I am still using some Aiwa 5.1 speakers that came with a home theater kit that a friend gave me after he upgraded to an Onkyo receiver.

I know next to nothing about Home Theater Speakers, but I am assuming that these speakers are keeping me form enjoying the full quality of my receiver.

Mainly I watch DVDs and occasionally play mp3's. I live in an apartment with a small living room and thin walls. Most of the time my sub-woofer is set very low out of courtesy for my neighbors, its often off completely at night.

So what do I need to know to purchase the right 5.1/6.1 speakers?

Do I need to match the speakers to the characteristics of my receiver?

How much do I need to spend to match the quality of my receiver?

How long do speakers maintain their quality and full value? Do they last a lifetime or do you replace them every 3-5 years?

If I had to purchase today I would chose between;

A) Fluance AV-HTB 5 Speaker system. (No sub-woofer)
"This five-piece home-theater speaker package offers shockingly good sound for a mere $199."
http://reviews.cnet.com/Fluance_AV_HTB_5_Speaker_system...

OR

B)Klipsch Quintet II
"This entry-level home-theater package, with its expressive horns and punchy sub, kicks butt like one of the big boys."
http://reviews.cnet.com/Klipsch_Quintet_II/4505-3423_7-...

But I am open to any suggestions, however cost is a concern and I don't want to pay extra for minimal improvement, quality I won't notice with my current receiver, or extra power I can't use without inconveniencing my neighbors.
February 3, 2004 12:38:14 AM

This is just for your Computers? I mean is this for a area with a sick tv and you will be blasting DVD's?

#1 Onkyo reciever's are no joke! i got one in my living room...
Check Sound Magazines... Paradigm, Klipsch, Definitive Technology... those are like some serious high end Home theater SPeakers..

If your just using this for your computer...... the Promedia 5.1 Klipsch setup should to the trick for you, but you already got a Recieve and you just want speakers?... I would just go to best buy and grab some High End Sony's, or Something Highend........ what's your spending limit?

Asus A7N8X Deluxe
80gb Maxtor
200gb WD 8mb cache..
Lian-Li PC-60
Lite-On 52X
AMD XP2800+
LeadTek GeForce 4 Ti4200 w/vivo 128mb 8x
Hitachi CML174
1 GB Corsair XMS PC3200 Cas2
February 3, 2004 1:23:03 AM

My suggestion is to LISTEN to some systems and make your decision that way.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
Related resources
February 3, 2004 5:07:42 PM

My suggestion is to LISTEN to Crashman, and LISTEN to some systems and make your decision that way.

PS: look for soft transparent sounding ones, not pushy or bright, they get boring fast.

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
February 5, 2004 10:36:01 AM

This can be a really long post. The answers to your questions involve too many issues of great importance that need to be addressed. Normally, that would take hours to do in a way that are properly understood especially since they are likely to be read by people that are not familiar with them at all.
So, instead of doing that, i'm going to give you some information that will hopefully point you to the right direction and give you some food for thought. I would be able to give you more precise and accurate advice if i had more information from you on certain things but, by the time you finish reading this post, you will know what these are so, if you wish to get deeper, just come back with it.

To put (and keep) things as simple as possible:

You have no idea how right you are assuming that these speakers are keeping you from enjoying the full quality of your receiver.

Yes, you BETTER match the speakers to the characteristics of your receiver. Contrary to what the public thinks, it's NOT about power rating but MOST importantly their impendance and sensitivity. But lets not get to that just yet.

How much money should you spend?
Yes, i understand that there is absolutely no point in spending money on good speakers when your receiver is not up to it. But you don't really need to worry about that. Not unless you plan on spending seriously more than $1500 for 5 speakers and a subwoofer.

You really need to realise that. And make some distinctions in your mind:
If you're thinking about a speaker-set designed for computers (don't let the Home Theater logo on them trick you) then no matter how much money you spend you are getting nowhere near the quality your reciever can deliver.
Then there's the genuine fixed home-theater sets (most based on satellites) like those widely available by many Hi-Fi manufacturers. Some of them have a very stylish design and they are really good choices if looks also matter a lot to you or if you have confined space. Good (real) HT sets like that will definitely give you better results but you STILL will not be close to the quality you can obtain from your receiver.
So, what's left?

Audiophile speakers.

I'm hesitant to use the term Hi-Fi because it is so widely used and ABUSED for marketing reasons that just too many average speakers (especially sets) end up being marketed as Hi-Fi without having anything to do with what the term stands for.

So, you need not worry about spending unecessary money. With the reciever you have, if you're interested in real quality you can and SHOULD spend a lot. The difference in quality IS huge.
But I'm not saying that you should. I understand your budget is low but all this is information that i think you should have in mind. If nothing else it should help you keep things in perspective and even plan for the future.

No, you don't need to replace them after a few years. Quality speakers, treated properly, will not wear out or lose quality.
So, this is something you really need to seriously realise:
If you are REALLY interested in high quality sound then a really good audiophile set of speakers is an INVESTMENT.

So, take some time to consider all this.

What would my advice be?
Well, it depends on several things. Some very important ones are in regard to the space you have. If you REALLY want me to give you my honest advice then you better start describing all your demands in detail: Size of room, distances between walls, listener's distance from tv and back wall, size of speakers you can use and if they need stands or can be placed on the floor, and everything else you can include.

I can't really advice you on models or characteristics without some more information.

If you REALLY want a stressed advice:
If you're on a tight budget then get it slowly: wait until you can get 2 pairs (the same preferably) of Hi-Fi speakers (frontLR and rearLR), and a center (same model line as the frontLR). At best it should be around $700. The more you put in the better it becomes.
You don't need a sub at first if you have problems with your neighbors. Also, don't think about more speakers yet (although your receiver can support 7.1). Save your money for now. The point is to slowly get the right equipment that at some point will be complete and can offer you a lifetime of enjoyment, rather than spending money on something cheaper now that you will want to replace later. Plus it will not sound as good as those 5 speakers can.

I really don't think i should say more. Think about your priorities. Come back and give any additional info you want. There are so many other things i could add but its of no use right now.
Think about it, decide on your plan, and come back with it.
February 5, 2004 4:37:11 PM

I live in an apartment. My living room is rather crazy. 10 ft x 30 ft.

Its divided in two across the long axis by my entertainment system.

Nearest the wall is a 10 x 6 "work" area where I keep my 2 PCs. I have corner desk that extends 6 ft on either side. PC1 has its own 19" monitor, and shares a 17" monitor, mouse and keyboard with PC2 via a KVM switch.

The rear "wall" of this works area is my entertainment center. This houses my Pioneer VSX-D912K digital receiver and my 27" Sony Trinitron TV (facing away from my work area).

My couch is about 6 feet away from the TV. Against the wall in between the couch and the TV is a love seat and in the middle is a coffee table.

Behind the couch there is a weightlifting bench (with dust on it). The back wall is irregular. A large closet takes up one corner and is maybe 3 feet behind the rear right speaker, the other goes back 5 feet and opens into the kitchen. The rear speakers could go back another 3 feet, but then the weightlifting bench would partially block line of site.

Currently I am using stand mounted AIWA speakers form a home theater kit that a friend once owned.

The center speaker is on top of the entertainment center, and the sub-woofer is in a open compartment under the TV. Two front speakers are 10 feet apart and in-line with the entertainment center, with the surround speakers they form a 10 x 10 box.

The chief listening position (center of couch) is about 7 ft from the line formed by the front speakers and 3 ft from the line formed by the rear speakers. I have line of site will all the speaker except the sub-woofer which is blocked by the coffee table.

Rob423> "This is just for your Computers?"

Technically yes, but not in the way you mean.

Mainly I will be sitting in front of my couch 6 ft from a 27" TV watching movies with DTS and Dolby Digital sound, output at a volume that is courteous to my neighbors. A secondary use will be occasional mp3 playback. I use high quality headphones when gaming.

However I use my PC's for all my media. I can outputs to my TV at 1024x768 and have an optical connection to my receiver.

Sound-wise, when I play a DVD or even a AC3 encoded DivX my receiver gets a bit-stream that is 100% identical to that output by a DVD Player using a digital connection.

Video-wise,using my PC's 1024x768 SVIDEO output compares favorably to the output of a standard DVD player.

My 27" Sony Trinitron is not "sick", but I like it. It is cylindrically flat and can support 1024x768 SVIDEO input.

I also have a ATI remote wonder, an ATI TV Wonder and a DVD+-RW drive.

Crashman> I will listen to some speakers before deciding.
blah> I don't know what "bright" sounds like

Xrtaea>

Money: My situation is unusual. I am sort of on a tight budget, but then again I could spend $1500 on speakers tomorrow if I wanted.

My income is a disability check, when I am extra careful I have $125-$225 at the end of the month for non-essentials. On the other hand I just not very materialistic and I have a great deal of financial discipline. So despite my low income I have accumulated $5500 in savings.

I am a long term planner. If I spent $1500 on speakers, I would have to forgo any major purchases until I rebuild my savings. Which means I keep my KT400 XP2400 512 MB PC3500 GF Ti4400 system as is for the next 18 months. Then again it good speakers will hold their value far longer than a new PC!

If these speakers are going to last 10+ years, then I am definitely willing to pay for any quality that I will am actually going to notice!

BTW Klipsch Quintet II I mentioned are their cheapest home theater speakers. Which cost about the same as their most expensive PC speakers.
February 6, 2004 2:35:28 PM

dude, you are on disability check and want to spend that much on speakers which will not give you 100% 'improvement' in sound quality over $200 ones? Relax, save yourself a headache and get some el chipo 3 way speakers and $100 sub from Costco, which would be more than enough for your apartment.

The speakers that the guy above is talking about are not for us, working (well not in your case) poor man's pocket and need for that matter. Those kind of speakers are best listened in bigger room with excellent acoustic setup (example: I had R2-40W/F3-100W/S1-500W speakers selected for my apartment, and now that we moved into new house, I have to rebuild/upgrade them, caz they sound little doll in a bigger room setup, but in the apartment they were sounding like angels). Don't kid yourself, the guy just want to show off his 'knowledge' on the subject and thinking not about you, but about how 'cool' he is. Jeeee, that is lame to have 125 bucks a month (and that if extra careful) left over, and spend so much on the stuff that is not even close to what you 'really need'.


..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
February 6, 2004 9:07:58 PM

Heh I think you are jumping the gun a bit. No one has even made any recommendations, let alone tried to convince me that I absolutely have to spend $xxxx dollars :) 

Anyway I decided I am willing to spend $200 to $500 on better speakers. (And maybe $500 in oil painting supplies and $500 in backpacking supplies :)  )

I can tell the difference between a wav and a 128 kbps mp3 when I use good headphones and pay attention, but that difference doesn't detract at all from my enjoyment.

I don't need perfect speakers, just ones that have less obvious flaws.

If I can get 90% of the quality at half the price then thats what I am going with.

The biggest problem I have noticed is with dialog (center). I also notice a problem in the middle frequencies before I reach the crossover point.

How important is the quality of the surround speakers?
I am thinking of keeping my current surround so I can spend more on the the front and center speakers.

Or would I get better buying 5 cheaper speakers?
February 8, 2004 5:05:43 AM

I was not jumping a gun, I was having a rush before marble job in the bathroom I had to do today (yack, whole day on kneez), anyway, get whareva you wish, spend as much as you want, do whateva you dezire, talk as much as you can, it is your life, screw it up by yourself, I will not stick my noze into it no more ;) >

PS: rear speakers do nothing but make some noize when hollycopter drives by and goes away, or booollet's flying by your ear couple of times, so this is up to you how much of 'that kind of fun' you want to have.

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
February 10, 2004 4:24:31 AM

Blah,
you obviously seem to have a charisma in figuring other people out. You certainly seem to have figured out both me and Codesmith, what kind of people we are and what our 'real needs' and intentions are... Not only that, but you personally also seem to know what others SHOULD want, as well, based on your - I'm sure - otherwise objective and thorough research to figure out what is really important to you and, after obtaining that goal, to use it as a reference point to judge others...

I can understand the possibility that since you figured out how things should work out for yourself, in keeping you happy and content, you would be reluctant to allow someone else’s reference point to enter your viewpoint and possibly your lifestyle. But, unfortunately, this will leave you no room for growth, unless of course you actually think you reached the ultimate point and there is no real reason for you personally to go any further.

Interestingly, that is something that a lot of people in this world do; it is not an isolated case after all. But the mistake in this process is the failure to understand the subjectivity of the matter and how it may have absolutely no real value or practical use to anyone BUT the person that abides by it in the first place. It is that failure that leads people instead of keeping it to themselves or at least present it as it really is - a PERSONAL evaluation - to tend to use it as the way things SHOULD be for everybody else as well. It is that very failure that leads those people to consider any other person’s knowledge that happens to come by that claims to represent something more, as ‘pretentious’ and ‘unnecessary’ and finally as a ‘show-off’...

Maybe all it would take, for that phenomenon to be eliminated, would be the realization of subjective thinking: that any opinion people hold and any advice they are willing to give might have absolutely no true value and hold no truth but to themselves. Maybe the realization that what is right to their mind might be wrong for others will eventually lead them to understand that the only way you can offer a useful advice is by not stating your personal belief and opinion but by presenting a situation the way it is, objectively, using FACTS, allowing them to know ALL possible sides, this way giving other people all they need to make their OWN decisions.

That is what i did. And that is what you failed to understand.

So, let me enlighten you:


Quote:
‘The speakers that the guy above is talking about are not for us, working (well not in your case) poor man's pocket and need for that matter’.


How do you know I’m not one of ‘us’? How do you know my pocket is not a ‘working poor man’s pocket’?

You don’t.
But nevertheless, you had no problem assuming so...

Maybe a working poor man’s pocket is what you think YOUR pocket is. Maybe that’s what you think all poor man’s pockets ARE like. Maybe you DECIDED that the quality (the way you THINK of it) that you THINK I’m talking of are not for your pocket, therefore NOT for anybody else’s either. Maybe that’s how you WANT it to be...

You also seem to know their needs, too.
Maybe you feel that your personal needs should also reflect the needs of those who happen to have ‘a working poor man’s pocket’. Maybe that’s how YOUR real personal needs are, or how you WANT them to be.
So, obviously ‘some el chipo 3 way speakers and $100 sub from Costco, which would be more than enough for your apartment’ are actually more than enough for YOU and all that you WANT to believe you NEED.
I have absolutely no doubt that they are for you, and i am equally happy for you that you HAVE what you NEED.

But I still know a lot of people that have what you call ‘a working poor man’s pocket’ that obtained such quality simply because they WANTED to and they felt they NEEDED to.
Granted, they are not the majority, but since they actually DID that, there must be something else there that is not included in your philosophy.


Quote:
‘Don't kid yourself, the guy just want to show off his 'knowledge' on the subject and thinking not about you, but about how 'cool' he is’.


You know, there are some people that they actually don’t spend their time because they want to show off their ‘knowledge’. It’s true, a LOT of people actually DO that.
But not ALL of them.

Some actually take their time to write really long answers not because they want to feel ‘cool’ and ‘smart’ but because they are only trying to help others resolve matters by willingly passing on any knowledge and experience they might have.
And there is a way you can tell them apart: It’s NOT the ones that are answering a question by simply trying to tell people to do THIS or THAT. It is the ones that are actually taking the time to let people know ALL the OPTIONS they have and ALL the possible SOLUTIONS they can obtain, eventually arming them with greater knowledge and FACTS than they had in the first place in order to be able to know BETTER what they are into, and by weighing their options, make their OWN mind up, reaching a decision that better suits THEIR needs.
And those people are not doing it because they need to feel ‘special’ about themselves. They don’t need to. They do it because they feel that MAYBE someone will benefit from it and make a better decision because of it. They do it to HELP someone as they themselves needed help when in their position and had a hard time acquiring it. They do it hoping that someone will actually take the time and READ and have the intelligence to evaluate and appreciate it for what it is: an answer that is as objective and complete and helpful as possible.

Of course there’s always the people that will fail to see it for what it is. Always the people that will misinterpret it. And it doesn’t really matter why they do that. Who knows, maybe they just don’t want to, since it doesn’t fit with their personal philosophy or maybe it’s because it takes a certain amount of intellect to be able to read between the lines - that’s maybe a different subject worthy of further research...
The bottom line is that they DO fail to see it for what it is. And as a result they will call others ‘show off’s’.

That’s how you called me.

I can’t even imagine how you would have reacted if i had actually taken the time to put down on paper ALL the other ‘little’ details that i mentioned but didn’t because, like i said, are not yet that important to Codesmith since he had to make up HIS mind first as to what route he would follow. ‘Details’ that i felt would be ‘too much’ for the average user. ‘Details’ that if anyone would be really interested in would only have to ask for.
That would make me an even bigger ‘show-off’ to you, wouldn’t it?

I’m sure it would.

You know, I don’t have any illusions that you will realize how offensive and uncalled the nature of your post was. If you COULD then you wouldn’t have responded that way. But it doesn’t matter. Because i know there are people out there that think and act the way you do. Always was, always will be. I’m used to them.

Because it’s pretty clear that all that IS useless to you. It’s pretty clear that anything that goes any further than YOUR point of reference - that you set in YOUR mind - is disregarded by you as ‘unobtainable’, and ‘useless’. And it actually IS for as long as YOU want it to be that way.
And since the topic was audio, there HAS to be a reference point and there actually IS one. How else would anyone be able to do comparisons? Granted, it has nothing to do with yours since you don’t WANT it to, or since you decided you can’t HAVE it, but rest assured it’s still there. And that is what i HAD to use to measure things up against, in order to put things into perspective and give an objective opinion. If that troubles you, you need to resolve your issues elsewhere. If you think it’s not there for you, then it’s simply not. But it doesn’t mean it’s not there for everybody else, as well.

So, why do i have to spend all this time trying to help someone - ANYONE that happens to be reading it looking for this kind of information - only to be abused by the likes of you?
Because there are people unlike you, that can benefit and actually put that information into service and GET what they want. Because it is people like you with their self-tailored opinions that lead others into misconception and confusion. Because it was never written to be read by the likes of you. It was intended to be read by those few people that care about it , WANT to know what’s out there and CAN benefit from it. It was intended to be read by people who asked for help and can appreciate any help they can get on the topic and not people that consider such help useless. It was intended to be read by people who have the intelligence to separate real help from a ‘show-off’.


If for reasons of your OWN you decided that you don’t WANT to accept such help or that there is NO use of such help to YOU, at least you could let yourself open to the possibility that MAYBE some others DO.

I’m sure that for some reason you had to put things in order in a specific way in YOUR mind that suits YOUR needs and YOU feel comfortable with it in order to avoid some issues, but that does not mean that everybody else should share that view of yours and most certainly it does not give you the right to abuse others like that.

All it takes is some intelligence to tell things apart.

Still...
After you failed so miserably to understand the tone of my previous post that only required some careful reading, i don’t expect you to really understand this one either, especially since it requires some reading between the lines as well...
But have no doubt that some others will...



P.S.
On the other hand, i have to consider the possibility of you not really meaning to say those things the way you did. Or even myself misinterpreting your post for something other than what it was. If i did that then I offer you my apologies.

The way things are, only other readers will be able to judge...
February 12, 2004 7:19:01 PM

OK, but I still have crappy speakers that came with a $300 receiver+subwoofer kit a friend purchased seven years ago.

I still willing to spend up to $500-600 to upgrade these speakers. I watch 5-10 movies a week, so I think decent speakers would be a worthwhile investment.

And I still know nothing about speakers.

Should I just replace the Front and Center speakers and use my existing speakers as surround?

Or am I better off replacing all 5 speakers?

Can I spend $300 and get 90% of the quality of a $600 system, or will spending twice as much result in a drastic improvement?
February 13, 2004 4:58:42 AM

lol
""OK, I appreciate that taste is very personal, but the idea of speaker technology is purism, i.e. trying to recreate realistic, life like sound.""

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
February 13, 2004 5:07:39 AM

lol, dude, you are so abscessed with your philosophy, that don't even see how dumb it is. Sometimes I feel really bad about English being my third language, hehehe. But anyway, have no time right now to make my philosophical statement about how your philosophy gets lost in itself, so will talk to you in a couple of days.

PS: you really need to read the Bible to get some help for your brain cells (yeyeye, it is my 'PERSONAL evaluation' and trust me, I know that 'you NEED' it ;) >


PSS: on the shirt note, I KNOW that the guy has a life besides the speakers, and by his asking 'opinion' here, I KNOW that he is no audiophile, so I told him not to kid himself and get something that will make his life a little more colorful. Thats why I had no problems calling you a "show-guy", caz you are a big one. Talk 2u layta.


..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
February 13, 2004 5:18:58 AM

"Can I spend $300 and get 90% of the quality of a $600 system"

yes you can, and you must. For 3 hundred bux you can get a top notch stereo system with very powerfull (for your room;) 5 speakers for that matter.

Look at reviews like <A HREF="http://www.reviewcentre.com/review35482.html" target="_new">this</A> to find out your 'NEED' and understand what I am talking about ;) 


..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
February 13, 2004 9:59:30 AM

It would be a lot easier to accept your point of view if you were more concise. Sorry, but I got exhausted around the second paragraph.

I used to build speakers, I understand quality. You're right that sensitivity has a lot to do with output, for example "professional competition" subs often require 4x the output of musical instrument speakers to produce the same level of sound. But then, since they handle 10x the power, people buy them anyway. Half the reason is bragging rights, "My competition system has 50KW of amplification" whatever.

There is a minimum of quality that nobody who appreciates sound should fall below. Unfortunately the best deals still land small high quality speakers in the $50/per speaker price range, that's $250 for 5 channels and you still need a sub!

But some speaker "packages" provide a better deal than buying individual units.

For people on a really strict budget, I've found some Koss stereo speakers that sound OK in the $70/pair range, they could build a 5 channel system from that but they'd still need a separate sub, and some kind of active crossover and preferably an equalizer just to get the sound balanced.

Anyway, some cheap speakers are better than others, but they still don't give top quality sound. Some midpriced speakers rival top end units, and this is where actually listening to them comes in handy.

My friends $350 computer speaker system (5.1) came with excellent drivers and a crappy amp. When that amp failed, he bought a $250 home theater kit which came with crappy speakers and a fairly solid AMP. And he put his old drivers on the new AMP. What he ended up with sounds like a typical $450 mini home theater arrangement. Of course typical depends on what you've listened to before, so it's always best to listen before buying.

Me, if I ever get back into audio I'll build my own.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
February 13, 2004 10:07:11 AM

There are of course some top end systems that don't provide adequate frequency range, you'll often hear them described as "accurate" within the range they support.

I've never heard a $300 system that included a home theater full featured AMP, that sounded like it was high end. I have heard some fairly nice $300 speaker systems...and some fairly nice $200 AMPs are on the market.

"Computer" settups often give you more for your money. That's because the computer industry is more competitave than the home theater industry.

As always I suggest people listen first.

Oh, and if your ears aren't that discerning and your just looking for GOOD sound (as opposed to GREAT), it's important to look at how well the drivers are made. Some fairly cheap speakers provide fairly decent sound for maybe 100 hours, then start to deteriorate.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
February 13, 2004 2:18:04 PM

BLAH!!!.......STFU

Asus A7N8X Deluxe
80gb Maxtor
200gb WD 8mb cache..
Lian-Li PC-60
LiteOn 52X/LiteOn 811s DVD-RW
AMD XP2800+
LeadTek GF4Ti4200 128mb
Hitachi CML174
1GB Corsair XMS PC3200
February 13, 2004 4:21:25 PM

LOL, OK, you just buy some cheap speakers with lightweight drivers, turn the volume up just below the point they rattle, and listen to them until they get fuzzy. I won't be offended (as long as I don't have to listen) :smile:

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
February 13, 2004 4:32:19 PM

WHAT"S UP Sitting Bull...Long time no talk Crashman!

Asus A7N8X Deluxe
80gb Maxtor
200gb WD 8mb cache..
Lian-Li PC-60
LiteOn 52X/LiteOn 811s DVD-RW
AMD XP2800+
LeadTek GF4Ti4200 128mb
Hitachi CML174
1GB Corsair XMS PC3200
February 13, 2004 5:49:35 PM

Don't bother with Blah's noise, his SNR is VERY low.

Crash and Xrtaea are steering you in the right direction.

Likely your best deal will come from a grouping of speakers like Crash says. While the best solution would likely involve customizing individually for your space, it's not an easy nor usually inexpensive solution.

I've grabbed a matched set of Yamaha speakers for my old bedroom system, sr/sl/center/r/l with low impedence and great frequency range on sale for $25/each, regularly $150 each (now gone to another home). On my main system in the living room I have all B&W hooked up to my NAD AV setup (which will soon get the boot for a new one), I spent alot of time looking for the speakers at the right price and mixed and matched lines (I do prefer B&W though).
Getting some nice B&W, KEF, Bose, Cerwin Vega, Jamo, Athena JBL, PolkAudio, etc. setups for cheap CAN be done it just takes effort and time. I picked up a pair of B&W 604s for just under $700 for the pair, because they were 2 years old, and the retailer wanted to clear his stock. However giving you a brand recommendation never works because everyone in the mid-range makes some form of crap for the low end market.

Really you need to watch for sales leading up to replacing your current speakers. Since you have a pair and aren't in dire need do some serious shoping around where you live.

You have to watch for those kinds of sales, if you have big stereo chains near you check out their flyers or check in the stores and ask for the their 'best price'. Paying full price for speakers is really a bad deal 99% of the time. There is usually a large mark-up on them and they sell-off last year or 2 year old stock quite often for very reasonable prices. Also check with the specialty stores and see whether they have deal on old stock. Once you find what you think is a good deal check reviews online of in audio mags to get a feels for their strengths and weaknesses.

If you're buying individually I would spend more focus on getting great right and left front speakers than anything else, and then good for the surround sound. But don't be fooled, crap speakers and crap wiring on your surround can introduce terrible distortion and noise. The thing is usually even a 'GOOD' DTS source will have far lower quality sent to the surround then you will have from an SACD stereo playback, and forget DolbyDigital Surround, no where near good enough IMO.

I wouldn't worry about MP3s, you wouldn't notice the difference in speaker quality even at 320kbps.

You may have trouble fitting a 'GOOD' subwoofer into your selection at the price you list, but you may find a reasonable one.

And you may get a reasonable overall 6 speaker setup if you shop wisely. The Polk AM6700 series surround package would likely offer good bang for your buck, and I've seen them here in Canada for about $500CDN (usually $1000+), and it comes with a respectable subwoofer. Athena, JBL, and a few others have some solid surround packages, but you would be compromising STEREO quality for getting an all-in-one purchase. But something like the Polk setup would likely give you good bang for your buck. But you do have to shop for the best deal. Depending on the quality of your surround speakers, I would suggest focusing on good tower front speakers and a good woofer; but a nice surround package may be quite acceptable for your needs, and really usually it's an inexpensive way to meet your overall needs.

As Crash says the proof of the puddin' is in the listening really.
I don't like TOO MUCH bass (and neither do the neighbours :evil:  ), and many current systems are artificially bass weighted to compensate for crappy components, so what works for many wouldn't work for me. The system of course is only as good as it's weakest link; bad amp, bad wiring and of course bad speakers can all affect the overall 'experience'.

I listen to SACDs and DVD-Audio recordings on my main system, but in my beadroom my HTZ-55 is good enough for DTS stuff, and regular CD listening, but likely most people would find it lacks depth because the woofer is somewhat small with a small driver 5". Don't be fooled by a big box with a small woofer, it's nowhere near as good.

Anywhoo, that would be my recommendation. You've got some good advice above, and hopefully a little exposure to what's availible at your local fidelity sound stores and larger outlets will give you a feel for what your options are in the price range you're looking for.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! - <font color=green>RED </font color=green> <font color=red> GREEN</font color=red> GA to SK :evil: 
February 13, 2004 9:42:24 PM

I don't talk that much in this forum because I'm not happy with the current selection of high end gaming/home audio computer cards.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
February 24, 2004 4:21:24 AM

<""You've got some good advice above"">

Thank you for noticing my comments
I know they really help to save a buck or two ;) >

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
February 24, 2004 4:23:26 AM

""BLAH!!!.......STFU""

who you were toking to? me or crashman?

PS: I would if I could ;) 

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
February 24, 2004 4:33:48 AM

Ok, any body can tell what's the difference between same power, same range, same characteristics (size, material, blahblah) speakers but one of them is a high end and the other lower end. Will I hear difference in sound? Is it worth to pay $1000+ more for the same characteristics speakers? What is the DIFFERENCE between low and high end??? They are the same on paper :( 

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
February 24, 2004 5:50:10 AM

There doesn't HAVE to be a huge difference, but there CAN be. The quality of the enclosure is an important factor, an optimum enclosure for the speaker is needed, and not all drivers have the same accoustical characteristics (take a look at the SPL/Frequency charts). Concerning subs, some claim to operate at frequencies below their resonant frequency, but they do so at a loss of sound quality and amplitude.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
February 24, 2004 7:17:43 AM

Quote:-------------------------------------------
<""You've got some good advice above"">
Thank you for noticing my comments
I know they really help to save a buck or two >
--------------------------------------------------

LMAO!
Sorry to dissapoint you, but he did not mean you!
Did i really have to point that out? I'm sure you already knew that, didn't you?
February 24, 2004 7:22:04 AM

Quote:
"There doesn't HAVE to be a huge difference, but there CAN be".

Absolutely!
Amen!
February 24, 2004 8:04:16 AM

Yes, I've seen some very nice mid quality stuff occasionally from the cheaper manufacturers (that is, a budget company's high end).

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
February 24, 2004 8:04:16 AM

Yes, I've seen some very nice mid quality stuff occasionally from the cheaper manufacturers (that is, a budget company's high end).

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
February 25, 2004 4:58:53 AM

NICEly Done again Crashman

Asus A7N8X Deluxe
80gb Maxtor
200gb WD 8mb cache..
Lian-Li PC-60
LiteOn 52X/LiteOn 811s DVD-RW
AMD XP2800+
LeadTek GF4Ti4200 128mb
Hitachi CML174
1GB Corsair XMS PC3200
!