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Need advice on what speakers to buy

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Need advice on what speakers to buy

Old 07-16-01, 06:50 PM
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Need advice on what speakers to buy

I'm finally updating my audio system. Just ordered the Harman/Kardon 7000 and need some new speakers to go with it. Thinking of JBL or Bose but not sure what to get. Any suggestions?
Old 07-16-01, 07:39 PM
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I would stay away from Bose and JBL. Go with a Cambridge Soundworks system or the Energy Take 5 system. If you had your heart set on the the JBLs aren't too awful. You get more for your money on the others I listed.
Old 07-16-01, 07:47 PM
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If you can find 'em

These are great: Definitive Technology ProCinema

saintsfan
Old 07-16-01, 08:07 PM
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Energy Take 5

I can second the energy Take 5's They are great!
(Although you do need a sub for great bass)
Old 07-16-01, 08:12 PM
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I would have to disagree with not trying out JBL. Their new studio series is wonderful. I have the S38 and S-Center in the front. Soon I will probably upgrade my KEF surounds and get the new S36 surrounds. These are nice looking, great sounding speakers that won't set you back too much. For films they give a very coherant soundstage.

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/Sou..._cm_00,00.html

Heres a review at Sound and Vision of the S38s.


Also, check out www.audioreview.com for user reviews on JBL and on almost any speaker you can think of.

As for Bose, stay away. As speakers they would not be that bad, if they cost significantly less on each model, but instead they price themselves as higher end speakers, where they really cannot compare.

J
Old 07-16-01, 08:53 PM
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What is your budget for these speakers, are you looking for 5 speakers and a sub, just the 5 speakers, etc....
Old 07-16-01, 11:02 PM
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PARADIGM - there is no other.

see HOME THEATRE FORUM
Old 07-17-01, 12:07 AM
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Originally posted by Master J
I would have to disagree with not trying out JBL. Their new studio series is wonderful. I have the S38 and S-Center in the front. Soon I will probably upgrade my KEF surounds and get the new S36 surrounds. These are nice looking, great sounding speakers that won't set you back too much. For films they give a very coherant soundstage.

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/Sou..._cm_00,00.html

Heres a review at Sound and Vision of the S38s.


Also, check out www.audioreview.com for user reviews on JBL and on almost any speaker you can think of.

As for Bose, stay away. As speakers they would not be that bad, if they cost significantly less on each model, but instead they price themselves as higher end speakers, where they really cannot compare.

J
I'll second the JBL set up. The S38's when timbre matched with the S-Center sound fantastic! Like Master J said, check out the reviews over at Audio Review JBL S38

Picked up the S38's at http://bestpriceaudiovideo.com for $299 pr.

Last edited by Mike Meeks; 07-17-01 at 12:17 AM.
Old 07-17-01, 03:21 AM
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Well, for budget speakers, of all the types listed with the exception of Paradigm, I would place the JBL Northridge line well above the others for HT (not music). I would put Bose and Cambridge on the bottom, and say that the Take 5 will definitely be the most accurate, but volume will be limited and bass non existent. If space is tight, then the Energy Take 5's are a great option with a sub.

Within the JBL line, I actually prefer the less expensive Northridge line to the Studio line. I could change my opinion on that, but thus far I haven't.

I may put the PSB Alpha series above everything here, including comparable Paradigm's, and they are within the same price range.

Pass on the subs in any of these packages and go for the Sony 12" if budget is a concern.

I wish I could tell you that auditioning is critical, but unless you can do so in a nice audiophile type place to get a rough idea of the tendencies of the speakers, places your likely to find the JBLs and such are pretty awful places to listen. Don't listen for differences between the sound of the speakers! Listen for which sounds right. People compare the sound of speakers, which makes no sense. You want to hear how accurately they reproduce the source. For instance, in this size (6" and less woofers), if you think nice bass, you should prob move on - it's coloring the sound. For HT, pay close attention to voices - do they sound natural.

Ideally you'd get a center and four full-way speaks and screw the sub, but that would be very expensive

Good luck.

Last edited by reverb; 07-17-01 at 03:24 AM.
Old 07-17-01, 10:48 AM
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I second the PSB Alpha series recommendation. Also Paradigm Atoms and Titans. Can't beat the value and the sound for both music and HT.
Old 07-17-01, 10:56 AM
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I just looked up your receiver. It is nicer than I thought ($1100). Your speaker budget should be about $1300-$2200. I would again recommend PSB and Paradigm, this time the PSB Image Series and the Paradigm Monitors. 2 Tower speakers in front, 2 Bookshelf speakers w/ stands in back, a matching center, and a nice sub.

Ohh yeah, avoid Bose because they are one of the worst values in all of consumer electronics. Avoid JBL because although they make some great budget speakers, in your price range you can do far better.
Old 07-17-01, 12:23 PM
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I think a lot of it depends what size speaker and how much you are looking to spend. If you want a small speaker system, try the Acoustimass 15. Also, if you are looking for a tower based system, Bose has new 601's and 701's available later this month. The 701's are awesome. The now will house a powered sub in each one with two 6 1/2" mids and two tweeters. They will retail for $999 a pair. Finally, they will put Bose back into the industry's tower speaker market where we have been lacking for several years now.

-Jeff
Old 07-17-01, 12:24 PM
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Whatever you decide to do, you should listen to a variety of speakers.

Opinions are one thing but you will have to live with your choice.

Do yourself a favor, listen and compare!

Good luck
Old 07-17-01, 12:35 PM
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WOW! Thanks for all the great advice. I went shopping last night and just ended up more confused.

To answer your questions I spent a little over $600 on the receiver at a ubid auction. The plan for the speakers is to get the 2 tower speakers right away, and then the sub, rear, and center within the next month or 2. I like to listen to loud rock music and also want the surround sound to sound good. The salesman at the store was steering me away from the larger towers and suggested a smaller one with a sub woofer to make up the lack of bass but I didn't like the sound of anything they had. I want something that is load and clear. I have had JBL's before (80's studio variety) and they were great so maybe I'll stick with the models you suggested?


Thanks again for all the help!
Old 07-17-01, 01:26 PM
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Don't buy anything before listening to some of these highly-regarded
models:

http://www.goodsound.com/original/speakers.html


It's best not to rush into buying gear, take your time and find the
best sounding speakesr for your hard-earned money.

Avoid the Best Buy magastores and look in the yellow pages under
"Stereo." You'll find much better gear, at similar prices.

Remember to bring your own audio CDs to judge sound quality.

Good luck!
Old 07-17-01, 01:47 PM
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Originally posted by M i c h a e l
Don't buy anything before listening to some of these highly-regarded
models:

http://www.goodsound.com/original/speakers.html
Thank you very much for this link. This is an excellent site!
Old 07-17-01, 02:03 PM
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I would stay away from the mass market stuff if at all possible.

Some incredible speakers Ive heard are made by Klipsch, Paradigm, Definitive Technology and NHT. The above linked list is also some speakers you should check out.

Whatever you do, stay away from Bose. They are overrated and cost twice as much as they should.
Old 07-18-01, 09:54 PM
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Originally posted by Brian Shannon
Whatever you decide to do, you should listen to a variety of speakers.

Opinions are one thing but you will have to live with your choice.

Do yourself a favor, listen and compare!

Good luck
Well said!

Nothing will effect the sound of your system more then your choice of speakers. Yes this or that receiver may have a little better bass, or that DVD player may have a touch more accuracy, but for OVERALL sound, the speakers will (in almost every case) make the BIGGEST difference.

Personally I don't like the sound of BOSE or KLIPSH. I prefer KEF, B&W and Celeston. BUT YOU ARE THE ONE BUYING THE SYSTEM AND THE ONE WATCHING/LISTENING. If you LIKE the sound, it sounds good in your room with your system, go forth and buy!
Old 07-18-01, 10:39 PM
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MB Quart

http://www.mbquart.com

Find a dealer and take a listen. Beautiful.
Old 07-18-01, 10:44 PM
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zappa, i had a nice long repsonse that was zappa'd by the dvdtalk gods b/c i logged in and then backed out. so, i'll keep this short and tell you what i would do.

best value, medium bucks...

http://ascendacoustics.com/ sell a 5 speaker set up + a hsu vtf powered sub for about $1k (6 speakers total, ca residents pay tax). check out the rave reviews at http://audioreview.com/reviews/Speak...ct_69369.shtml . seriously, you will have to read these reviews to believe it. these folks LOVE these speakers! they've owned or own def tech, paradigm, bose, awia, energy, psb, mission, m&k, nht, jbl, ads and polk and they all heartily recommend the ascend speakers over the speakers listed above.

even the b&g guy with b&g 50" ribbons LOVES these little speakers (not as much as his b&gs, but that is to be expected b/c they are less than 10-20% of the b&g cost (for 2 "mains"). ;-)

best value, getting expensive bucks...

http://magnepan.com/1-800-474-1646/index.html offers mmg speakers at $550/pair delivered. if you have a symmetrical room that allows for good placement, then these are ideal. mains and surrounds will run you $1100 delivered. Expect to pay a minimum of another $550 for a good center match with dispersion (not excellent, just good). throw in another $500-$700 for a sub and an amp and you have an AWSOME high end type system for under $2500 (ok, the amp and dvd player add some dough here ;-). i have a pair of mmgs and a hsu 1220 amp and i LOVE them. music and movies are awsome. i run the speaks in phantom center mode until i decide to drop half a "g" for a center. i can't wait to get my center and surrounds, although my poccket book can ;-)

this system will CRUSH a bose system (and i mean CRUSH!) in the sound department - for less money, too! however, the bose aren't as placement finicky (sp?) and are smaller.

best of luck and let us know what you do and how it went.

skeeter bug

ps - was this short? ;-)

Last edited by skeeterbug; 07-18-01 at 10:46 PM.
Old 07-18-01, 10:58 PM
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Eh, Yeah......

I agree that most mass market speakers are not so good. But do yourself a favor, and check out Polk Audio. I really really love mine.
Old 07-19-01, 12:48 AM
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http://magnepan.com/1-800-474-1646/index.html offers mmg speakers at $550/pair delivered. if you have a symmetrical room that allows for good placement, then these are ideal. mains and surrounds will run you $1100 delivered. Expect to pay a minimum of another $550 for a good center match with dispersion (not excellent, just good). throw in another $500-$700 for a sub and an amp and you have an AWSOME high end type system for under $2500 (ok, the amp and dvd player add some dough here ;-). i have a pair of mmgs and a hsu 1220 amp and i LOVE them. music and movies are awsome. i run the speaks in phantom center mode until i decide to drop half a "g" for a center. i can't wait to get my center and surrounds, although my poccket book can ;-)

[/QUOTE

Ohhh ahhh Magnepan. Good call. I have not listened to Mags in a long time. With the right amp, they could sing! Be careful. If I remember, not just any amp/receiver could drive them. But find the right combo....SWEET!
Old 07-19-01, 08:23 AM
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zappa, I was going to buy the 7000 but I didn't have the room for it because of it's height. I instead got the AVR510.

I had the oporotunity to check out alot of speaker combos and found the Infinity line sounded the best. JBL's sounded pretty good but the Infinity line sounded more crisp and had more depth.

But that's no suprise since Harman-Kardon owns both of them.

http://www.harmankardon.com/other_brands.asp
Old 07-19-01, 09:06 AM
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Zappa,

For the type of music you listen to, loud rock music, I think JBL and Paradigm would suit your needs perfectly. The Maggies are nice but your room and placement plays a big part in how well it will sound. Since I am more familiar with Paradigm I would suggest you audition the Monitor 7's if you insist on towers or Monitor 3's which is a bookshelf but has a larger woofer for more bass. Bottom line, stay away from BOSE.
Old 07-19-01, 10:15 AM
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the mmgs run at 4 ohms and requires a high current amp. i use a denon avr-3300 and it works just fine. my guess is that the hk amp is also high current (make sure if you are interested in the mmgs!). room symmetry is also important. if you want the best sound, these puppies have to sit about 2-3 feet in front of the back wall and a couple feet from the side walls, plus or minus a bit. they are about 1 1/2" thick. these speaks are awsome for acoustic instruments.

these speakers, if you can set them up right and have a good sub like the hsu 1220 (passive, so you need an amp to run it), will work well with rock or any other kind of music. it doesn't go to ear bleed levels with my 3300 (college drunken stupor levels), but it will get loud enough that i'd bet you could damage your ears, if you were so inclined, if you sat in front of them long enough.

keep in mind your source material. the mmgs will cause a poorly recorded track to sound poor (b/c that is what it is!). i listened to a recording of a guy playing violin and his breathing was too annoying for me to listen to it again.

wrt a center speaker, magnepan has one for $700 but it only goes to 160 hz and my sub crossover is 80 hz. therefore, i need a hybrid center and they won't exactly timbre match the mmgs (i am now picky! ;-). otherwise, $550 will buy you one helluva center speaaker.

if these speaks sound too complex, those ascend acoustics look awful apetizing (6 quality speaks for $1100), imho.

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