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Recommendation on speakers

Last response: in Home Audio
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August 5, 2011 11:07:48 PM

Hey guys,
Since I'm newbie on this I'll do probably a very easy to answer question...

I have nice set at home, not the newest one but not the oldest one:

2010 VIERA G25 Plasma
PS3
HTPC (a power computer to download, storage and reproduce HD Movies)
Direct TV DVR

So I need to buy a receiver and some speakers. But on my last trip to the storage I've found out my old receiver Harman Kardon AVR-254, so I decided to buy some speakers now, and may be later buy a whole set with more technology.

In my mind I'd like this set:

2 x Polk Audio Monitor70 Series II Floorstanding $360
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
1 Polk Audio CS2 Series II Center Channel Speaker $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
1 Polk Audio RM8 High Performance Satellite Speaker Pair $129
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
1 Polk Audio PSW Series PSW10 Black 10-inch Powered Subwoofer $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

So I'll be expending close to $700.

As you could see I have no idea... so can you please tell me if this is a wise way to spend the money... on newegg the rates are great, but I don't know if the people who are rating knows anything...

the purpose of the the set is basically to watch movies and play games... I like music but I'm not a musician... I know that the savvy people don't recommend subwoofers... but I like that type of sound unfortunately...


Probably on the future I'll be buying a much better receiver, but from now I prefer to spend the money on the speakers...
but, do I'm doing right???

thanks in advance for all the answers..
August 6, 2011 3:08:38 AM

torcator said:
Hey guys,
Since I'm newbie on this I'll do probably a very easy to answer question...

I have nice set at home, not the newest one but not the oldest one:

2010 VIERA G25 Plasma
PS3
HTPC (a power computer to download, storage and reproduce HD Movies)
Direct TV DVR

So I need to buy a receiver and some speakers. But on my last trip to the storage I've found out my old receiver Harman Kardon AVR-254, so I decided to buy some speakers now, and may be later buy a whole set with more technology.

In my mind I'd like this set:

2 x Polk Audio Monitor70 Series II Floorstanding $360
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
1 Polk Audio CS2 Series II Center Channel Speaker $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
1 Polk Audio RM8 High Performance Satellite Speaker Pair $129
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
1 Polk Audio PSW Series PSW10 Black 10-inch Powered Subwoofer $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

So I'll be expending close to $700.

As you could see I have no idea... so can you please tell me if this is a wise way to spend the money... on newegg the rates are great, but I don't know if the people who are rating knows anything...

the purpose of the the set is basically to watch movies and play games... I like music but I'm not a musician... I know that the savvy people don't recommend subwoofers... but I like that type of sound unfortunately...


Probably on the future I'll be buying a much better receiver, but from now I prefer to spend the money on the speakers...
but, do I'm doing right???

thanks in advance for all the answers..
Buy yourself a set of kef speakers or b and w which are way better than polk.The cost is not expensive.Go to a website called audiogon and you can get yourself a great deal on used and new speakers people sell.
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August 6, 2011 6:16:20 AM

torcator said:
Hey guys,
Since I'm newbie on this I'll do probably a very easy to answer question...

I have nice set at home, not the newest one but not the oldest one:

2010 VIERA G25 Plasma
PS3
HTPC (a power computer to download, storage and reproduce HD Movies)
Direct TV DVR

So I need to buy a receiver and some speakers. But on my last trip to the storage I've found out my old receiver Harman Kardon AVR-254, so I decided to buy some speakers now, and may be later buy a whole set with more technology.

In my mind I'd like this set:

2 x Polk Audio Monitor70 Series II Floorstanding $360
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
1 Polk Audio CS2 Series II Center Channel Speaker $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
1 Polk Audio RM8 High Performance Satellite Speaker Pair $129
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
1 Polk Audio PSW Series PSW10 Black 10-inch Powered Subwoofer $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

So I'll be expending close to $700.

As you could see I have no idea... so can you please tell me if this is a wise way to spend the money... on newegg the rates are great, but I don't know if the people who are rating knows anything...

the purpose of the the set is basically to watch movies and play games... I like music but I'm not a musician... I know that the savvy people don't recommend subwoofers... but I like that type of sound unfortunately...


Probably on the future I'll be buying a much better receiver, but from now I prefer to spend the money on the speakers...
but, do I'm doing right???

thanks in advance for all the answers..


Quote:

As you could see I have no idea... so can you please tell me if this is a wise way to spend the money... on newegg the rates are great, but I don't know if the people who are rating knows anything...


Correct, 99% of reviews on retailer websites have no clue what they are talking about.

Quote:

the purpose of the the set is basically to watch movies and play games... I like music but I'm not a musician... I know that the savvy people don't recommend subwoofers... but I like that type of sound unfortunately...


Huh?...Don't recommend subwoofers? Who? A proper surround sound system needs a subwoofer for LFE. Movies are coded for 5.1/7.1 and send low-frequencies to the Subwoofer many times.

=======================================

If I were you, I would dump the entire tower-front speaker business. Get small speakers that give good mid-range and highs, and then spend some extra to get a high quality subwoofer. Reason is that, the tower speakers are going to cost you extra, and they won't be able to give sufficient bass anyway (Not to my standards at least), then you won't be able to get a good subwoofer. Instead, save money and get small speakers, and then got a nice monster subwoofer to handle the bass. That would be my solution on a tight budget. None of the speakers from polk can actually provide decent bass...(and i've heard practically all of them)...! So basically, get satellite or bookshelf speakers (saves $$$), then get a better quality subwoofer.
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August 6, 2011 2:50:24 PM

blackhawk1928 said:
If I were you, I would dump the entire tower-front speaker business. Get small speakers that give good mid-range and highs, and then spend some extra to get a high quality subwoofer. Reason is that, the tower speakers are going to cost you extra, and they won't be able to give sufficient bass anyway (Not to my standards at least), then you won't be able to get a good subwoofer. Instead, save money and get small speakers, and then got a nice monster subwoofer to handle the bass. That would be my solution on a tight budget. None of the speakers from polk can actually provide decent bass...(and i've heard practically all of them)...! So basically, get satellite or bookshelf speakers (saves $$$), then get a better quality subwoofer.

Ok, so do you have any brand/product to recommend me?
Also, can you give an advice on the wires?

thanks a lot
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August 6, 2011 3:35:05 PM

^You can still get Polk's which still sound better than average, just not as good as they used to, but still sound good. Just get the smaller surround/bookshelf speakers. Whatever fits your budget. I recommend leaving $200 for a good subwoofer. You can still get a polk subwoofer.

Your subwoofer will be powered anyway, so you'll need any RCA cable for the signal. For your speakers depending on the distance, if its an average room, 18-20 guage regular speaker wire or lamp wire will do fine.

There is no need to buy special Monster-Cables or other name brands. They charge you 3x the amount for no improvement in sound quality.
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August 6, 2011 4:02:40 PM

Ok, so you suggest me to buy this:

1 Polk Audio Monitor40 Series II Two-Way Bookshelf Loudspeaker $120
1 Polk Audio CS2 Series II Center Channel Speaker $100
1 Polk Audio Monitor40 Series II Two-Way Bookshelf Loudspeaker $120
1 Polk Audio PSW Series PSW505 12" Powered Subwoofer $230

so finally I'll be spending $570

I have 2 questions... for the surround speakers make sense to buy the same as the front or should I go with a cheaper model?
Polk Audio Monitor30 Series II Two-Way Bookshelf Loudspeaker $90
My question is not about money but quality...

Also, let's say that I can strech my budget a little more, is there any other solution that is going to give me a much better quality?
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August 6, 2011 4:26:21 PM

For surround speakers, whatever fits your budget. For many systems I've seen, the models go lower-end the further they are. So fronts are highest quality, surrounds are a bit lower and rears are even lower (if you have 7-channel surround).

The polk subwoofer will be good btw, it will take care of all the bass and LFE you need. The other speakers you got should give decent mids/highs.

I can't recommend you specific models, because there are probably thousands of manufacturers and thousands of different speakers so its hard to just set straight on one type of speaker.

If you want, you can go to an audio specialty store and ask them to listen to some speakers and take the ones you like the most.

Better quality just means better speakers, better receiver. Acoustics also matter, many people say that putting acoustic panels makes as big of a difference as the speakers themselves.

Honestly though, In my opinion, make sure you have a good center channel (most important speaker), and good subwoofer for the best home theater expirience. Most of the movies audio track goes through the center. So spend some extra on those 2 peices and whatever is left get for fronts and surrounds.

If you want to further improve quality, make sure your surrounds and fronts are pointed directly at the area or spot you are listening to. High frequencies are very directional. Also keep the speakers at the height of your ears.

Dome-Tweeters also help, they disperse sound wider I think so you don't need to be as picky in the direction you place them if you don't have space to put them at the optimal spot I listed above.
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August 7, 2011 3:46:00 AM

blackhawk1928 said:
^You can still get Polk's which still sound better than average, just not as good as they used to, but still sound good. Just get the smaller surround/bookshelf speakers. Whatever fits your budget. I recommend leaving $200 for a good subwoofer. You can still get a polk subwoofer.

Your subwoofer will be powered anyway, so you'll need any RCA cable for the signal. For your speakers depending on the distance, if its an average room, 18-20 guage regular speaker wire or lamp wire will do fine.

There is no need to buy special Monster-Cables or other name brands. They charge you 3x the amount for no improvement in sound quality.
Sub woofers are artificial sounding! This to me is not natural real deep bass.Listen to live music and tell me how the bass sound than.
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August 7, 2011 5:27:26 AM

^What do you mean subwoofers are artificial sounding?...how is it not natural deep bass?...what do you mean?
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August 7, 2011 10:57:22 AM

musical marv said:
Sub woofers are artificial sounding! This to me is not natural real deep bass.Listen to live music and tell me how the bass sound than.


live music has deep bass?
deep base perhaps.

i dont see how an instrument can give an example of what it is doing unless you put your ear up to a funnel and get up real close to hear the strings of the bass guitar.
i suppose a tuba can belch lower than a bass guitar.. but nothing in the realm of wanted or needed amplification.
however,
if something else was to reproduce that same exact tone.. the want would be different.


live bands are nothing without their amps and microphones.
orchestras are growing to be the same thing.. and you can thank the size of the venue for that.

digital music is where i get the most room to think.
all the way down to a solid 0.5 hz (and the lower the better)
sure..
some people are using reverb and harmonics to get some seriously low sense of base.
but
neither one are showing themselves in this prison.
better to have some speakers with low harmonic distortion than lock everything up for the elite to breakdown and de-code using reversely engineered harmonics.

letting an insect infestation grow to become an embarassment are we?
never ever natural if there is a giant ocean wave of spl in front of you without also being occompanied by another giant ocean wave of spl from behind you.
and then..
when those two ocean waves come into contact with eachother.. they are going to rush to the side walls.
you need the reverb to fill in the room as one solid whole.
that is when your base feels more natural.

LFE is a product of the wind blowing onto the tip of the microphones.
has absolutely zero to do with the bass coming from a bass guitar.
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August 8, 2011 3:04:55 AM

anwaypasible said:
live music has deep bass?
deep base perhaps.

i dont see how an instrument can give an example of what it is doing unless you put your ear up to a funnel and get up real close to hear the strings of the bass guitar.
i suppose a tuba can belch lower than a bass guitar.. but nothing in the realm of wanted or needed amplification.
however,
if something else was to reproduce that same exact tone.. the want would be different.


live bands are nothing without their amps and microphones.
orchestras are growing to be the same thing.. and you can thank the size of the venue for that.

digital music is where i get the most room to think.
all the way down to a solid 0.5 hz (and the lower the better)
sure..
some people are using reverb and harmonics to get some seriously low sense of base.
but
neither one are showing themselves in this prison.
better to have some speakers with low harmonic distortion than lock everything up for the elite to breakdown and de-code using reversely engineered harmonics.

letting an insect infestation grow to become an embarassment are we?
never ever natural if there is a giant ocean wave of spl in front of you without also being occompanied by another giant ocean wave of spl from behind you.
and then..
when those two ocean waves come into contact with eachother.. they are going to rush to the side walls.
you need the reverb to fill in the room as one solid whole.
that is when your base feels more natural.

LFE is a product of the wind blowing onto the tip of the microphones.
has absolutely zero to do with the bass coming from a bass guitar.
I am referring to symphony orchestras with kettle drums and tympani sounds.You feel and hear the rush of air gushing out of the instruments.That is bass!
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August 8, 2011 3:38:44 AM

^Bass is just a general term used to describe low-frequency sounds...they can't be real or fake. Bass can be loud (louder volume) or deep (lower frequency). A good subwoofer that can give you both with low distortion will sound good...
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August 8, 2011 10:53:21 PM

musical marv said:
I am referring to symphony orchestras with kettle drums and tympani sounds.You feel and hear the rush of air gushing out of the instruments.That is bass!


yea..
air coming from the instrument area is certainly coming from a bass speaker.
however, i consider those gushings of air as 'base for the spl area'

foundation/base .. something you need to have before you can build something upon it.

most of the digital bass has subtle nuances that cannot be heard on the average system.
i just hate seeing somebody say something like 'i am going to drop $700 on a speaker system' and they are still missing those subtle details.
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August 9, 2011 3:24:46 PM

As with all things, people like different things. Although I'm KEF's are nice, they are waaaay more expensive than polks. He wants 6 speakers for $700, not 2 or 3. I'd buy electrostatics if I could, but don't have the money. I have almost your setup, although my fronts are 70's, the sides and rears are 60's (7.1) with a 80" projection screen. I also have an old 18" sub I picked up, but I'm working on building my own with a Soundsplinter 15" with a 1000W Behringer amp.

I think your setup is decent for the amount of money you are spending. You ABSOLUTELY must have a subwoofer if you watch movies. So I prefer your first choice of equipment, because the bass from the larger speakers will be easier to match range wise to the sub (ie, the bookshelf route is ok, but you have to be able to adjust the crossover frequency on your amp to make sure the bookshelf speakers don't get too much bass input). And having the same brand of equipment means for the most part everything will match tone wise. Although if you go the bookshelf route, remember you have to mount them at ear height when sitting, towers for the most part are already at the correct height, and I would go for better fronts than monitor 40's though, but I haven't heard them personally.

For wires, copper is copper. I have 14 gauge wire, because heat is bad, and my rears are far away. You can get by with smaller wire, but I would not recommend it. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speaker_wire for chart of gauge vs distance).
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August 9, 2011 4:20:19 PM

^Electrostatics sound amazing. The highs/mids sound better than any electromagnetic I've ever heard.

Also, with the wire, there is no need for 14 guage. 18 or 20 guage is already more then enough. You need larger/thicker wires to transfer more power...an amp like his and speakers like his will be using/producing very little power so there is no need for large wires unless the speakers are absurdly far away.
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August 9, 2011 6:31:02 PM

blackhawk1928 said:
^Electrostatics sound amazing. The highs/mids sound better than any electromagnetic I've ever heard.

Also, with the wire, there is no need for 14 guage. 18 or 20 guage is already more then enough. You need larger/thicker wires to transfer more power...an amp like his and speakers like his will be using/producing very little power so there is no need for large wires unless the speakers are absurdly far away.



My problem is that my room is 20x20, so by the time the cable gets to the rear speakers following the wall I'm at close to 35 feet for the rears. But yes, most people don't need to run the cables that far. In my case, durability was a factor, as smaller gauge wire tends to stretch more.
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August 9, 2011 8:29:56 PM

What BlackHawk said about a center speaker:

"Honestly though, In my opinion, make sure you have a good center channel (most important speaker), and good subwoofer for the best home theater expirience. Most of the movies audio track goes through the center. So spend some extra on those 2 peices and whatever is left get for fronts and surrounds."

I'm always amazed how badly made center speakers are made.

One thing I will add, if you have a specialty audio shop around that sells new and used, listen to some speakers!. They will let you even take them home and try them out.

Used, they usually offer a 1-2 year trade in, so if you buy some components you get 100% of the value in trade in. It is a great way to upgrade your system.

Speaker wire you can buy some for cheap online or your local hardware shop.
I like 14 guage for fronts and center(but I'm pushing a lot more watts but if you plan on upgrading buy it now) and 18 is fine for surrounds.

Happy Listening, The Prisoner
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August 10, 2011 3:09:34 AM

anwaypasible said:
yea..
air coming from the instrument area is certainly coming from a bass speaker.
however, i consider those gushings of air as 'base for the spl area'

foundation/base .. something you need to have before you can build something upon it.

most of the digital bass has subtle nuances that cannot be heard on the average system.
i just hate seeing somebody say something like 'i am going to drop $700 on a speaker system' and they are still missing those subtle details.
Go to a website called www.zalytron.com and click under photos and you will see my friends system which cost over $150,000.That my friend is almost hearing live music.Marv
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August 12, 2011 8:09:43 PM

money doesnt buy love.
music doesnt always relieve the stress.

people are able to drag a person down to the point where that system isnt going to do much but collect dust.
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August 13, 2011 2:27:45 AM

anwaypasible said:
money doesnt buy love.
music doesnt always relieve the stress.

people are able to drag a person down to the point where that system isnt going to do much but collect dust.
Music is great therapy for people especially with stress and worries.Calm and peaceful.Money is not everything in life health is.
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August 13, 2011 3:43:49 AM

^After a long hard day, often times I just come home and listen to music for half an hour on my main system...
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September 1, 2011 8:31:59 PM

woohoo an area I can offer sound advice on (I sell high end audio gear)

Any H/K equipment is fantastic as they are all brilliantly made and don't skimp of quality of parts to cut corners but I would say polk are average.
Personally I would recommend just buying a complete 5.1 or 5.0 pack as you will get more for your cash and it will be quite a bit cheaper than buying all of the speakers individually.
I would recommend:
Q Acoustics <--what I have
Acoustic energy
or maybe even Roth Audio (Cheaper option)

but if you really want a new receiver I would say try a Yamaha RX-671 as they are really well made and will last for a million years

Hope that helped a bit :lol: 
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September 1, 2011 8:46:13 PM

^Interesting, what kind of equipment do you sell? As in brands/prices?
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September 1, 2011 9:02:17 PM

blackhawk1928 said:
^Interesting, what kind of equipment do you sell? As in brands/prices?


well we sell stock over 2000 products but the ones you should have a look at are
Mission MV2 + MV2 + MS8 + MVC 5.1 AV Speaker Package in the UK is £399 witch is a reasonable price for good speakers as you would get quite alot of noise for your cash.

Tannoy are fantastic and I'm a big fan of there products and the TANNOY SFX 5.1 package is about £299 (they look brilliant and sound great)

Yamaha NSP285 5.1 Channel Speaker Package Tiny speakers but can easily be wall mounted and at about £160 would leave you enough cash for a receiver

there is so much choice and I know you can get all that stuff in the USA for a decent price.
but its worth getting a package even if it seems like a load of cash would would end up saving about 30% :) 
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