*Important* Need Home Speaker/Stereo System $$

Pixle

Senior member
Apr 9, 2004
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Hey everyone, well we finally need a new home stereo speaker system. I've read some posts of people saying - speaker wire, subs and decoders etc.... I don't really understand any of it :)

This is where I need your help!

For a Sub $500 budget what would be the best to get...

For a Sub $1000 budget what would be the best to get... (I'm ok with rebates and hdeals)

If more $$$ is needed for the best - let me know

We would need it to have cd player, Fm, Am, mp3, tape player....as fully stocked as possible.

And the best quality sound possible...it would be cool if this could be connected to the Tv as well. Even computer?

Thanks!!

Pixle.
 

YOyoYOhowsDAjello

Moderator<br>A/V & Home Theater<br>Elite member
Aug 6, 2001
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Is this supposed to be a stereo sytem geared to sources like music and regular tv, or is this more of a HT system?

For a music based system, stick with 2.0 or 2.1 and get something of decent quality.

For a 5.1 system you're going to be really limited for choices on a $500 budget and still fairly limited on a $1000 budget.

Of course more $$$ is needed for the best ;)

You say you're open to deals... what about used/refurb?

A receiver is going to cover FM/AM, a cheap dvd player can handle cd/mp3
Do you really need a tape player? Do you already have one?

Tv and computer can be connected to a receiver.
 

YOyoYOhowsDAjello

Moderator<br>A/V & Home Theater<br>Elite member
Aug 6, 2001
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5.1 for $500
Onkyo 780 (this goes on sale for under $400 from time to time)

Rocket tykes from AV123... taken off their site now? $499 with receiver

Mix and match...
Three pairs of polk R15s from outpost.com when they go on sale for $40/$50 a pair
Maybe replace the fronts with R30s@$49 each on sale or get a real center channel speaker
Dayton 10" or 12" sub from partsexpress for $99/$120 shipped
Budget receiver to power them Pioneer 515 for $170

Fluance is a speaker alternative to the polks (there are others too)
SX-HTB or AV-HTB sets

So, those are a few $500 range HT options. Add in a cheap DVD player for under $50 and you have everything covered except the tape playing.

For a stereo option more suited for music playback, concentrate most of the money on the two speakers.
Probably still get a dayton sub for $99 or $120
Find a cheap receiver to power the speakers
Then get as nice a pair of speakers as you can afford on the remaining money.

Go out and demo stuff if possible.

Some $200 to $300 suggestions to look at:
Ascend 170
Axiom M3ti
B&W 303
Paradigm Atom/Titan/Focus
refurb JBL northridge series

etc.

Lots of options, especially if you go used.



For $1000 you can do better of course... $1500 even better... and away we go ;)
 
Mar 11, 2004
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5,552
146
Originally posted by: Pixle
Hey everyone, well we finally need a new home stereo speaker system. I've read some posts of people saying - speaker wire, subs and decoders etc.... I don't really understand any of it :)

This is where I need your help!

For a Sub $500 budget what would be the best to get...

For a Sub $1000 budget what would be the best to get... (I'm ok with rebates and hdeals)

If more $$$ is needed for the best - let me know

We would need it to have cd player, Fm, Am, mp3, tape player....as fully stocked as possible.

And the best quality sound possible
...it would be cool if this could be connected to the Tv as well. Even computer?

Thanks!!

Pixle.

The parts that I bolded don't exactly go well together. Are you sure you'd be listening to tapes? The radio isn't hard at all, quite a few recievers have a built in tuner (the cheap Sherwood that I've used for a couple of years does anyways, not sure if my newer one does).

Hooking up to TV/computer will be easy with a reciever. Just need a cable or two.

For $500 I'd say Dayton 10/12" sub, the Fluance 5 speaker setup (or the Athenas that Amazon sells for $200 every now and again), and the rest for a decent reciever.

For $1000, I'd say maybe go with a very good sub (there's a few ~$500 ones that YoYo can suggest), then pick up a nice reciever that you could keep for a while, and then the rest on speakers (maybe go cheap on them and build up slowly, say buying the front r/l, then center, then surrounds).

Hmm, I guess since you do need a multi-use player then that'll eat into your budget.
 
Mar 11, 2004
23,073
5,552
146
Originally posted by: YOyoYOhowsDAjello
5.1 for $500
Onkyo 780 (this goes on sale for under $400 from time to time)

Rocket tykes from AV123... taken off their site now? $499 with receiver

Mix and match...
Three pairs of polk R15s from outpost.com when they go on sale for $40/$50 a pair
Maybe replace the fronts with R30s@$49 each on sale or get a real center channel speaker
Dayton 10" or 12" sub from partsexpress for $99/$120 shipped
Budget receiver to power them Pioneer 515 for $170

Fluance is a speaker alternative to the polks (there are others too)
SX-HTB or AV-HTB sets

So, those are a few $500 range HT options. Add in a cheap DVD player for under $50 and you have everything covered except the tape playing.

For a stereo option more suited for music playback, concentrate most of the money on the two speakers.
Probably still get a dayton sub for $99 or $120
Find a cheap receiver to power the speakers
Then get as nice a pair of speakers as you can afford on the remaining money.

Go out and demo stuff if possible.

Some $200 to $300 suggestions to look at:
Ascend 170
Axiom M3ti
B&W 303
Paradigm Atom/Titan/Focus
refurb JBL northridge series

etc.

Lots of options, especially if you go used.



For $1000 you can do better of course... $1500 even better... and away we go ;)

Definitely some good options there.

I would say $1500 would be the optimal if you could afford it. This way you could get a very nice sub, very good reciever, and then still have a nice chunk left to get some good (relatively) speakers. For that price you could get a nice $500 sub, a $500 reciever/player setup, and then pick up 4 Polk R50s ($75 a piece) and a nice center.

No offense but you don't sound like an audiophile, so chances are anything that can put out decent sound (Polk, Athena, Fluance, Dayton, etc.) will probably suit you just fine. Mos tpeople like a sub they can really feel, so getting a nicer sub than speakers is usually better (just speaking generally). Then again, a lot of people just want a sub that hits hard and don't even notice or care about distortion (I know of some people who actually think the distortion is a good thing).
 

Soccerman06

Diamond Member
Jul 29, 2004
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$5k gets you 7.1 surround, 7x120watt reciever, and 2 8" subs and 1 10" sub. Of course that is probably out of your budget, but not out of my parents :). Too bad Im in college.
 

YOyoYOhowsDAjello

Moderator<br>A/V & Home Theater<br>Elite member
Aug 6, 2001
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Originally posted by: darkswordsman17
there's a few ~$500 ones that YoYo can suggest

Well, if I must ;)

Best deal I see right now
http://av123forum.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=10879

For new, SVS PB10 or HSU STF-2 / VTF-2

For a little more, you can get into the higher end SVS models.

Other stuff is out there too, but I think SVS and HSU are some solid choices from the research I've done.
 

YOyoYOhowsDAjello

Moderator<br>A/V & Home Theater<br>Elite member
Aug 6, 2001
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Originally posted by: Soccerman06
$5k gets you 7.1 surround, 7x120watt reciever, and 2 8" subs and 1 10" sub. Of course that is probably out of your budget, but not out of my parents :). Too bad Im in college.

3 small subs? :confused:

and that's 7.1? :confused:
 

ribbon13

Diamond Member
Feb 1, 2005
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Originally posted by: YOyoYOhowsDAjello
Originally posted by: Soccerman06
$5k gets you 7.1 surround, 7x120watt reciever, and 2 8" subs and 1 10" sub. Of course that is probably out of your budget, but not out of my parents :). Too bad Im in college.

3 small subs? :confused:

and that's 7.1? :confused:

I'd think that would be called 7.3. :p
 

YOyoYOhowsDAjello

Moderator<br>A/V & Home Theater<br>Elite member
Aug 6, 2001
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Originally posted by: ribbon13
Originally posted by: YOyoYOhowsDAjello
Originally posted by: Soccerman06
$5k gets you 7.1 surround, 7x120watt reciever, and 2 8" subs and 1 10" sub. Of course that is probably out of your budget, but not out of my parents :). Too bad Im in college.

3 small subs? :confused:

and that's 7.1? :confused:

I'd think that would be called 7.3. :p

That's what I would call it :)
 

Pixle

Senior member
Apr 9, 2004
435
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Originally posted by: YOyoYOhowsDAjello
Is this supposed to be a stereo sytem geared to sources like music and regular tv, or is this more of a HT system?

For a music based system, stick with 2.0 or 2.1 and get something of decent quality.

For a 5.1 system you're going to be really limited for choices on a $500 budget and still fairly limited on a $1000 budget.

Of course more $$$ is needed for the best ;)

You say you're open to deals... what about used/refurb?

A receiver is going to cover FM/AM, a cheap dvd player can handle cd/mp3
Do you really need a tape player? Do you already have one?

Tv and computer can be connected to a receiver.

Lol...you know YoyoYOhowsDAjello, I was going to pm you personally about what I should go with the sound system. I've read tons of your suggestions about peoples sound systems :)

But...I don't really get it. I'd be willing to read and research how to change the speakers and all of that.

This is really for my parents so that's why I suggested the tape player - I think it can be excluded.

They have:

Dvd player (sony) nice $100 one
Sony Trinitron Tv 40"+ hd I think (speakers are weak on it though)

They really wanted a sound system for music in the house. If it can be connected to the tv - it would be a plus... Can the 5.1 be connected to the tv and be a stereo system as well - what do you recommend (2.1,5.1) really that much better?

So I would need:

Sub, speakers, receiver(?)...

SVS PB10 or HSU STF-2 / VTF-2
??

YOyo , Just tell me the exact parts to buy and from where and I'll trust you on it ;)

Whatever you think is best for $1000... non used would be good - unless you have a reputable seller. Best value, I'd be willing to change speakers etc...

Pixle .
 

YOyoYOhowsDAjello

Moderator<br>A/V & Home Theater<br>Elite member
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If you're going to be watching movies on it, I'd suggest getting a 5.1 system.

I have to go to class now though :p
 

YOyoYOhowsDAjello

Moderator<br>A/V & Home Theater<br>Elite member
Aug 6, 2001
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Well I'm back ;)

What do your parents use to play their tapes now? You might be able to hook that up if it has a line-out or a headphone jack on it.

For speaker wire, check out this page for a little reference on what gauge of wire would be good for the kind of lengths you're be running. Cablesforless has affordable speaker wire (other places too).

I guess what happens next depends on how much time and effort you and your parents want to spend on this.

Ideally you'd do some preliminary research to find out what kind of system you would be interested in and what's available.
Then you'd demo some stuff to see what you like.
This demo-ing is easy for stuff that you can get locally, but for internet direct stuff you can also get a demo going from either finding a current owner in your area or buying a set from the company and returning it within their in-home demo period for a refund.
(Ideally you would demo in your actual final listening area and you'd have all the options there to switch between to hear the differences)
After you find out what sounds best to you, finding a good deal on the stuff...

Depending on how big a purchase this is and how interested you guys are in it, that's probably not going to happen though.

Sounds like you just want me to tell you what to buy ;)

I'd be happy to make some recommendations, but it would still be a good idea to actually go out and hear some stuff before you make a final decision.

A few questions:
How big of a room is this going in? (LxWxH)
Would you be able to set up something like the dolby recommended placement in the room?
What % of the usage of this system is going to be stereo sources (like music/standard tv) vs sources that are 5.1?
Do you think you guys would want a fairly substantial sub, or would a more budgety one be better for you? (For movies do you watch a lot of action explosion type movies? Do you want to listen at loud volumes and shake your windows from time to time?)

I guess the biggest decision to make here is 2.1 vs 5.1 for the system.

For $1000 you can get a nice 2.1 system going that could be upgraded to 5.1 eventually if you want to.
For $1000 there are going to be some compromises to get a 5.1 system going
(obviously you're making compromises at any budget, but I mean fairly significant ones)

For music, stereo is what's best for the vast majority of what's out there.
I think personally for a $1000 music system I'd get something along the lines of
A refurb HK 3380 from the seller harmanaudio (I've ordered from them before... they put a new full warranty on items)
(Or an HK 3480 for a little more)
They're supposed to pair well with Ascend Acoustics.
Ascend 170s have gotten amazing reviews. They need a nice sub to compliment them, but that's covered by an HSU STF-2 or an SVS PB10.
Both are great for music... but it seemed to me in my research that the PB10 had the edge for HT usage with its lower frequency extension.

Ascend 170s are a highly regarded bookshelf speaker in this range
The SVS PB10 and HSU STF-2 are great subs in the range (I ended up with a PB10)
An HK stereo receiver will have plenty of power and is supposed to match well with the Ascends to make them sound very nice.

Add in some speaker wire and an RCA cable to connect the sub and you have yourself a nice 2.1 system.

You should be able to get a nice flat frequency response from those that would sound good to most listeners.


For a 5.1 system it would be nice to maintain that same quality for the whole system.

Matching the front three speakers is a good idea for HT usage. The center channel is the most used speaker for HT, producing something like 70% of the sound for a typical movie.

So for music you want to concentrate on the FR and FL... for movies you want to have the front three but especially the center to be of high quality.

For both applications you'd want to have a nice sub too. Most of my suggestions in here are for bookshelf sized speakers that need a sub to compliment them for the low end.

The surrond speakers are the place to skimp. You could even not have any initially and see what you think of it. Or get some really cheap speakers that don't match for surround duty (like polk R15s for $40 a pair).

Keeping with trusty Ascend for a surround system, maybe
refurb HK AVR230 again from harmanaudio
3.0 Ascend 170s $510 shipped
SVS PB10 about $450
That's closer to $1200 without surround speakers yet.
Add in speaker wire, a sub cable, and a couple R15s and you're at about $1250.

Like darkswordsman17 said, $1500 is more doable for a quality 5.1 set.
With $1500 you could get the center up to a 340 or get matching HTM-200s for surrounds.

To keep it at $1000
For the receiver a decent one is going to be $200 or more shipped.
A refurb HK / Onkyo / etc.
or a new Pioneer like I linked to above are about as cheap as you're going to get.
That leaves you $800 for 5.1 shipped.
Especially if there isn't going to be a lot of action movie sort of stuff or music with a lot of bass in it, go with a cheaper sub.
The Dayton 12" for $120 shipped is a great deal.
Between the $450-ish subs and the Dayton, a JBL e250 is a good bet.

If you went with a Dayton, you'd have about $680 left for speakers (taking out some money for speaker wire and a sub cable you're at about $600).

Paradigm is a brand you could look at in this range.
4 atoms and a cc-170 would come to about $600... maybe even including tax with a package discount.
You're almost back up to Ascends again 170s for the front 3 and a random pair of speakers for the surrounds would put you on budget.
Along with Paradigm, JBL northridge series is another brand you could demo.

For $800 refurb you could do
ec35 center ($135)
e20s for surrounds ($80)

Leaving about $550 for fronts and a sub...
Could do another pair of E20s or E30s and get and SVS sub or

A pair of floorstanding JBLs (e60/e80/e90) and a
e250 sub ($215)

So anyway I've written you a novel here since it helps me relax looking up this sort of stuff ;)

Maybe with the answers to some of the questions I asked we can come up with a better idea of what would be best for you guys since there are so many options out there.

Before you get set on a $1000 budget you might even want to check out some $500 options. If you are all used to tv speakers, something like an Onkyo HTIB might be all you'll want.
It's more expensive in the long run to get a $450 HTIB and then upgrade it later on than doing it right the first time, but a HTIB is all some people need.
If you did do something like that and decided to upgrade later it wouldn't be the end of the world either. Your Onkyo receiver would be a nice one so you could stick with that and then just upgrade the front three speakers and move the old front speakers to surrounds and the old surrounds to rears.
Just some stuff to think about before you set a budget in stone.
 

Soccerman06

Diamond Member
Jul 29, 2004
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Originally posted by: ribbon13
Originally posted by: YOyoYOhowsDAjello
Originally posted by: Soccerman06
$5k gets you 7.1 surround, 7x120watt reciever, and 2 8" subs and 1 10" sub. Of course that is probably out of your budget, but not out of my parents :). Too bad Im in college.

3 small subs? :confused:

and that's 7.1? :confused:

I'd think that would be called 7.3. :p

Well technically, I dont know what you would call it, there is no stand alone sub, all 3 subs are built into the front three speakers, 2 towers on each side and another in the center. Their placement doesnt matter too much because they produce like the best low end very loud and no distortion whatsoever. It gets to the point where the lights throughout the whole house (2 floor 5500+ sq.ft.) dim every time the subs are used, and lets just say, I didnt know that so many things could rattle.
 

YOyoYOhowsDAjello

Moderator<br>A/V & Home Theater<br>Elite member
Aug 6, 2001
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Originally posted by: Soccerman06
Originally posted by: ribbon13
Originally posted by: YOyoYOhowsDAjello
Originally posted by: Soccerman06
$5k gets you 7.1 surround, 7x120watt reciever, and 2 8" subs and 1 10" sub. Of course that is probably out of your budget, but not out of my parents :). Too bad Im in college.

3 small subs? :confused:

and that's 7.1? :confused:

I'd think that would be called 7.3. :p

Well technically, I dont know what you would call it, there is no stand alone sub, all 3 subs are built into the front three speakers, 2 towers on each side and another in the center. Their placement doesnt matter too much because they produce like the best low end very loud and no distortion whatsoever. It gets to the point where the lights throughout the whole house (2 floor 5500+ sq.ft.) dim every time the subs are used, and lets just say, I didnt know that so many things could rattle.

Do they have the LFE channel split to all three speakers then?

(or I guess all are running full range)
 

Pixle

Senior member
Apr 9, 2004
435
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0
Ok, I read and researched the information you wrote up. hmm...

So far I've got this down for a 2.1 system (would I be able to upgrade with these parts to a 5.1 down the road?)

the hk 3380 or 3480 much of a difference?

Then the Ascend 170's (only 2 right, the pair on sold here

A HSU Stf-2 subwoofer.

I will buy from these places: Best deals i've seen:

Ascend CBM-170 Pair $328

HSU Research STF-2 Subwoofer $400

Harman Kardon HK-3480 2X120 Watt Stereo Receiver $270

I used http://www.froogle.com for the prices, I do not want to make the same mistake of paying more!

 

Pixle

Senior member
Apr 9, 2004
435
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Ok - I'd really like to have an option of going 5.1 down the road.

Yoyo, has told me that I would need a different receiver.

Are their any out their that are awesome - as well as carry, am, fm, and cd player (if possible)

Any problems with the setup of materials I listed above?
 

bigpow

Platinum Member
Dec 10, 2000
2,372
2
81
Deals aside, sound/sonic impression is very subjective.
I'd go to a local store to hear how they sound, before spending that much money on it.

IMO, the Klipsch HT package from Bestbuy sounds really sweet to my ears
I think it was around $1500 for the F-3 package (floorstanding, center & surround speakers, sub, and a Yamaha receiver)

 

pkme2

Diamond Member
Sep 30, 2005
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When it comes to a sound system, here's something I PM'ed to someone earlier.

Before you buy those expensive speakers, I recommend that you go out and have your ears tested. To really appreciate the quality of sound, one must have the ability to hear that kind of output. My hearing range used to be in the high 20's. My ears tested out that high and maybe a little less since I'm now older. I have had speaker systems with super tweeters, exponential horns down to 30" woofers, JBL's, Altec Lansings. Jensens, Advent,etc..... What really impresses me is not how loud you play them, it's how low you can go and still hear the highs perfectly.
The speaker system that really caught my ear was Bose. http://www.bose.com/
I built my first tube/transitorized Scott amplifier with Jensen speakers and have spent over 40 years appreciating music especially the classical stuff thru all varieties of speakers. It takes a discerning ear to know the difference between speakers.
There are audio sound stores that you can test the various makes. That should be your criteria for choice. Everybody can recommend speakers; you need to hear the speakers first before spending a dime. If you can't hear the difference, then why spend the big bucks?
Everybody have their likes and dislikes. You can buy the best, but if you can't hear the difference, what's the diff?
Your room acoustics plays heavily in your choice. Sounds like you planned is for an auditorium?!!!

My point is that you should listen to the various systems available.
Another factor to consider is where the system will be used.
If the room has too many reflective surfaces, your sound will be lousy.
If you are of the boom-box mentality, then you won't appreciate my advice.
One can buy any sound system, but if you can't test them at home, you're wasting your money.
Before I buy a HDTV, I like to see a whole slew of them next to each other. The other day I saw 10 playing next to each other at Costco.
The best was the Sharp Widescreen but the smaller Samsung was priced right for my budget. It, too had the best picture and color.
When it came to a sound sytem, I was fortunate to have a stereo store near for me to test and hear various entertainment systems. I bought the components separately but was assured of getting the best for the money.
 

Tiamat

Lifer
Nov 25, 2003
14,074
5
71
I would say for halfway decent 6.1 sound, you need at least 1200$. something like 3 pairs of paradigm titans and an SVS PB-10. On top of that, you need a receiver, so add another $250-$500.

In the end, a halfway decent 6.1 surround sound system will cost roughtly $2500 with a decent all-in-one DVD player.

A pretty good Stereo (for music) system would cost roughly $1400 - Something like B&W 603 and a NAD integrated amp.
 

YOyoYOhowsDAjello

Moderator<br>A/V & Home Theater<br>Elite member
Aug 6, 2001
31,203
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Originally posted by: Pixle
Ok - I'd really like to have an option of going 5.1 down the road.

Yoyo, has told me that I would need a different receiver.

Are their any out their that are awesome - as well as carry, am, fm, and cd player (if possible)

Any problems with the setup of materials I listed above?

Instead of getting a CD player, as I suggested in PM it would probably be better to get a standalone player or let your DVD player handle it.

For a decent receiver for 5.1 or higher, one of those factory refurb HK units from harmanaudio is what I would suggest.
 

YOyoYOhowsDAjello

Moderator<br>A/V & Home Theater<br>Elite member
Aug 6, 2001
31,203
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Originally posted by: bigpow
Deals aside, sound/sonic impression is very subjective.
I'd go to a local store to hear how they sound, before spending that much money on it.

IMO, the Klipsch HT package from Bestbuy sounds really sweet to my ears
I think it was around $1500 for the F-3 package (floorstanding, center & surround speakers, sub, and a Yamaha receiver)

I agree which is why I said

"Ideally you'd do some preliminary research to find out what kind of system you would be interested in and what's available.
Then you'd demo some stuff to see what you like.
This demo-ing is easy for stuff that you can get locally, but for internet direct stuff you can also get a demo going from either finding a current owner in your area or buying a set from the company and returning it within their in-home demo period for a refund.
(Ideally you would demo in your actual final listening area and you'd have all the options there to switch between to hear the differences)
After you find out what sounds best to you, finding a good deal on the stuff..."

Pixle, if you demo some Klipsch and like it, I'd suggest checking out Axiom audio for an in home audition. Their speakers tend to be on the bright side and might be a good match for a Klipsch listener. Shipping is included in the price, so if you order a pair of bookshelf speakers and don't like them, you just need to pay return shipping and they'll refund the rest of your original purchase price back.
 

YOyoYOhowsDAjello

Moderator<br>A/V & Home Theater<br>Elite member
Aug 6, 2001
31,203
45
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Originally posted by: pkme2
When it comes to a sound system, here's something I PM'ed to someone earlier.

Before you buy those expensive speakers, I recommend that you go out and have your ears tested. To really appreciate the quality of sound, one must have the ability to hear that kind of output. My hearing range used to be in the high 20's. My ears tested out that high and maybe a little less since I'm now older. I have had speaker systems with super tweeters, exponential horns down to 30" woofers, JBL's, Altec Lansings. Jensens, Advent,etc..... What really impresses me is not how loud you play them, it's how low you can go and still hear the highs perfectly.
The speaker system that really caught my ear was Bose. http://www.bose.com/
I built my first tube/transitorized Scott amplifier with Jensen speakers and have spent over 40 years appreciating music especially the classical stuff thru all varieties of speakers. It takes a discerning ear to know the difference between speakers.
There are audio sound stores that you can test the various makes. That should be your criteria for choice. Everybody can recommend speakers; you need to hear the speakers first before spending a dime. If you can't hear the difference, then why spend the big bucks?
Everybody have their likes and dislikes. You can buy the best, but if you can't hear the difference, what's the diff?
Your room acoustics plays heavily in your choice. Sounds like you planned is for an auditorium?!!!

My point is that you should listen to the various systems available.
Another factor to consider is where the system will be used.
If the room has too many reflective surfaces, your sound will be lousy.
If you are of the boom-box mentality, then you won't appreciate my advice.
One can buy any sound system, but if you can't test them at home, you're wasting your money.
Before I buy a HDTV, I like to see a whole slew of them next to each other. The other day I saw 10 playing next to each other at Costco.
The best was the Sharp Widescreen but the smaller Samsung was priced right for my budget. It, too had the best picture and color.
When it came to a sound sytem, I was fortunate to have a stereo store near for me to test and hear various entertainment systems. I bought the components separately but was assured of getting the best for the money.

1. I disagree with you on bose
2. I agree that demo-ing is an important step
3. You say to test out sound systems in your home, but then you think you can really pick out a TV with the kind of calibration they do at costco (probably none, or up the contrast 100%) with the lighting they have in a store like that? How can you be so critical about sound demo-ing and then make a comment like that which totally goes against the concept of fair auditioning?
4. Retail for sound equipment (and most stuff) is going to be marked up a ton. How were you "assured" of getting the best for the money buy the guys making a commission off the stuff they just sold you?