Surround/stereo speakers

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Surround/stereo speakers

Postby Blake_T » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:12 pm

i'm looking to ditch my current speaker setup. they sound great but are large... my mains are 5-way w/ 2 x 12", 2 x 4", and 1 x 2.5".

i was looking at possibly switching over towards some smaller cube type speakers and it's been like 15 years since i looked at any seriously.

does anyone have any recommendations for surround speaker packages that will do pretty well for both home theater and music? basically looking for something fairly compact that will project well...

key is the budget. trying to keep it under $300 and looking for maximum bang for buck. i have a powered sub so i don't need a setup that has one of those (but would consider it if it was still affordable).

i'm pretty good at digging up used stuff. was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for decent quality in the low budget range.
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Re: Surround/stereo speakers

Postby NoLifeLeft » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:20 pm

For under $300... I'd look into Polk. I've always been pleased with their home stuff for the price paid.
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Re: Surround/stereo speakers

Postby Blake_T » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:26 pm

yah, they were near the top of my list.

i've had a mix of speakers over the years. polk, klipsch, bose, boston acoustics, yamaha, etc.

boston's were probably the best bang for buck but that was in like 1993... and they are now priced similarly to everything else in that quality level.

i just don't listen to as much music anymore nor am i a huge fan of watching movies at window shattering volumes, but if i choose to do either, i'd like it to sound halfway decent.

the new to used depreciation on most speakers is about 40-60%, so if they're $400 new i'm fairly confident i can probably swing $175ish used.
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Re: Surround/stereo speakers

Postby Blake_T » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:28 pm

i guess a follow up is, having quality sounding music is probably more important than the surround stuff but my goal is to keep it as compact as possible.
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Re: Surround/stereo speakers

Postby JHern » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:42 pm

Got my nice Sony system for $50 on craigslist. All it needed was a little soldering work on the main board, and it was like brand new.
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Re: Surround/stereo speakers

Postby Jerrod » Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:33 pm

These are cool. Probably outside what you want to spend but worth checking out. No I don't have them yet.

http://www.orbaudio.com/index.asp
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Re: Surround/stereo speakers

Postby Blake_T » Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:23 pm

i went out today with the intent of merely browsing but stumbled across a Polk RM6880 5.1 setup at a pawn shop for $120. they cut me a deal for $100 since i wasn't able to do any research on it. it's in good shape but didn't include the mounting brackets.

it looks like the original MSRP on the package was $849 with an average discount selling price in the $700 range and a limited time circuit city clearance of $400.

we tested em and the bass left something to be desired but overall i feel pretty good about the purchase.

specs are here:
http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/prod ... nt/rm6880/

the same pawn shop had the yamaha 5-speaker setup that is highly rated in the sub-$200 new category for $30, but i have a feeling i made the right choice.
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Re: Surround/stereo speakers

Postby NoLifeLeft » Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:29 am

Blake_T wrote:the bass left something to be desired but overall i feel pretty good about the purchase.

But your powered sub should be able to pick up the slack there, correct?

Does your receiver have different settings for speaker sizes? This will help.
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Re: Surround/stereo speakers

Postby Blake_T » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:08 am

yah. my receiver was sony's top of the line non-ES series in the last gen before HDMI inputs that i picked up on clearance. it has a lot of customization options but the D/A converter and S/N ratio on the amp part of it sucks compared to the receiver it replaced, which was the top of the line non-ES series from 1993.

i still have my yamaha powered sub w/ built in x-over from 1993 that will probably smoke the polk sub that came with this package, but i'm guessing the polk sub is better voiced for these speakers.
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Re: Surround/stereo speakers

Postby Blake_T » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:13 am

also, i was figuring worst case scenario, i got a good enough deal on the speakers that i can add some larger polk bookshelf speakers and shift it over to a 7.1 setup without too much in terms of regret.
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Re: Surround/stereo speakers

Postby garublador » Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:42 am

See if you can find these used somewhere:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Eosone-RSS-705-5-1- ... 1e5ba0059f

They were a brand made for Best Buy in the mid 90's that were IIRC, designed by the dude from Infinity and manufactured by Polk Audio. I don't think they sold that well and because of that it seems like you can get them pretty cheap, but I'm pretty impressed with them. I have a set that I got when I worked there and I've been really happy. I'd easily spend $400 on a sub that sounds as good as that one.
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Re: Surround/stereo speakers

Postby Timko » Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:44 am

I went though this in January, and ended up forgoing the entire surround system and instead build from components. I got a pair of Paradigm Mini Monitors off of craigslist for $150, and they really have a great sound stage for such a small speaker.
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Re: Surround/stereo speakers

Postby Blake_T » Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:57 pm

got those polks hooked up today and gave em a test run. when playing music the bass leaves something to be desired even w/ the sub going... like... the kick drum comes through but if the bass guitar is in the lower freq's it's non-existent.

i tried with my old sub (an upper end yamaha powered circa 1993) that has a built in crossover. my receiver is so "smart" that since no one has made any external components with crossovers in them since the late 90's that there's no way to disable the receiver's built in crossover. while my old sub kicks harder, it just doesn't mesh well w/ these speakers since the sub tries to eat most of the low end and sucks even middle low range bass guitar out of the fronts.

i went w/ the setup that a polk setup guy posted on their forum which is to turn the sub-woofer out off and running the polk fronts through the sub and the sub off the front speaker outs and the crossover freq to 120. the polk sub has a built in low end roll off... and my sub out also has a built in roll off... which leads to ass if you use the polk sub on the sub-out.

my old rear speaker were polk monitor series 2's but they're from ~1996 and aren't shielded so they probably won't work well as mains.

i'm happy at $100. i feel like i got tremendous value. if it had been $200 or $100 w/out the sub i probably would have regretted it. the surround sound on movies now sounds much better than it did before.

audio quality for movies: B+
audio quality for music: C+
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Re: Surround/stereo speakers

Postby JHern » Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:40 pm

Yeah, if you're out there looking and know what you're looking for, you can find some incredible deals on used stuff. Reminds me of the time I got an ancient Peavey tube amp and a huge 4 speaker cabinet for my bass guitar from a dude for $120. Ridiculously amazing deal, this thing had the power to play a 400 person venue...wish I'd have kept that amp though, its worth over $10K today just for the tubes alone.
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