Best 5.1 Speakers for around or Under $300? Piece together or buy set?? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 10-16-2012, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I am a big music listener but these for for movies as well obviously. I've been considering the Pioneer SP-BS21s (with the center and sub added to create a 5.1). Also been considering the Polk RM705 5.1 set, MartinLogan MLT-2 Home Theater set, Energy 5.1 Take Classic 5.1 set (these are on sale right now without the sub - if I did get these, what would be a good sub for around $100, ie the Pioneer SW-8).
From reading around on threads it seems people really love the Pioneers.

As a reference I went in to BB and the B&W 685s were my absolute favorite but are out of my budget right now. If there is a set of speakers that are more like these for the price reference that's what I'm interested in.
I'm not interested in big tower speakers, but am happy with bookshelf size. Should I get bigger bookshelves and smaller rear speakers?
Any other options I should consider?

If it was Pioneers vs Energys what is best? Is the sound of the pioneers so much better that they're worth the ugly look?
The Energy's are on sale for $150 right now, pioneers would be $250 right now (both without sub). I'm thinking I'll add the Polk Audio PSW10 sub to either.

My receiver is a Pioneer VSX-52
Much Appreciated everyone!
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-16-2012, 04:49 PM
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If you're a big music listener you should want larger speakers than little satellites.

Of the speakers you listed the Pioneer BS-21 would be the best choice. CNET actually did a comparison of the Pioneers vs the Take Classics.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-20076109-47/three-awesome-sounding-under-$500-home-theater-speaker-systems/
http://reviews.cnet.com/surround-speaker-systems/pioneer-sp-pk21bs/4505-7868_7-34654855.html

Wait for the Pioneers to come back on sale for $50/pr. Its happens from Newegg often, like every other week. You can get 4 BS-21's and the C21 center $150 total.

Neither the Pioneer 8" sub nor Polk PSW-10 are very good. These Dayton subs would be better for $110. The smaller 10" is probably a little tighter for music. They are still entry level subs and can be boomy but better than the Polk 10" and Energy 8" subs.
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=300-629
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=300-628

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post #3 of 14 Old 10-16-2012, 05:02 PM
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As a reference I went in to BB and the B&W 685s were my absolute favorite but are out of my budget right now. If there is a set of speakers that are more like these for the price reference that's what I'm interested in.

If you're willing to upgrade slowly maybe consider the Energy RC-10 bookshelf speakers. I actually think they sound better than the B&W 685 for 1/3 the cost. The 685 has a little more bass due to the 6.5" woofer but the RC-10 will hold its own very well.

http://www.amazon.com/Energy-RC-10-2-Way-Bookshelf-Speaker/dp/B00550VM66/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/energy_rc10.htm

The Infinity Primus P163 is also a good bookshelf speaker. $85 each or $170/pr from Crutchfield.
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_108P163BK/Infinity-Primus-P163.html?tp=186

Also look at the HSU HB-1 MK2 from hsuresearch.com, about $300/pr
http://hsuresearch.com/products/hb-1.html

Finally the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170se
http://ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cbm170/cbm170.html

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post #4 of 14 Old 10-16-2012, 05:48 PM
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I am in the market for bookshelf size speakers. My wife is asking me to part with the big floor speakers I have. Where did you find those Energy;s on sale for $150? I have a JBL sub and a Harmon Kardon AVR
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-16-2012, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah I was afraid the Pioneers would be that much better for music. They are just so dang ugly though. What about this idea, please let me know if this would work. What if I bought the energys right now as they are on sale for 150, then when the pioneers come in just get a pair of SP-BS21s and have them as the front speakers, using the other 2 speakers for the 7.1 or a second zone. Would this work or not? Are they the same ohms and if not is that a problem?
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-16-2012, 06:20 PM
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I think you should match your speakers all the way around, if you're going for a 5.1, or greater, surround set-up. Think about watching something like Black Hawk Down, where a helicopter is circling around overhead... you'd want it to sound the same the whole time, right? Not like a helicopter from the front, and then a Volkswagon from above when it sweeps around to the rear. Ok, maybe that's a little extreme, but you get the point, right? I've never heard either of the speakers you're talking about, so I'm not able to say which sounds "better"... that's up to your ears anyway. Just talking about the whole 'cohesive-ness' of the sound... stick with one brand.

If you want a really good one, you'll have to learn a foreign language. german, for instance...
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-16-2012, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilkinson View Post

I am in the market for bookshelf size speakers. My wife is asking me to part with the big floor speakers I have. Where did you find those Energy;s on sale for $150? I have a JBL sub and a Harmon Kardon AVR

The Take Classics are on sale for $150 at Newegg. I woudn't call them bookshelf size speakers, as they are little satellite speakers.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882269004&name=Home-Audio-Speakers

use promo code EMCJNJH22 to get $50 off the current $199 price. Sale ends Thursday 10/18.

Its gonna be a big dropoff in sound from your floorstanding speakers though. Those little sats wont sound nearly as full as your old large speakers. But if the wife is happy that's all that matters.

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post #8 of 14 Old 10-16-2012, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rewhowes View Post

Yeah I was afraid the Pioneers would be that much better for music. They are just so dang ugly though. What about this idea, please let me know if this would work. What if I bought the energys right now as they are on sale for 150, then when the pioneers come in just get a pair of SP-BS21s and have them as the front speakers, using the other 2 speakers for the 7.1 or a second zone. Would this work or not? Are they the same ohms and if not is that a problem?

If you get the Pioneers as front speakers, you need to get the matching center too. The Energy center isn't a tonal match for the BS-21.

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post #9 of 14 Old 10-16-2012, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

If you get the Pioneers as front speakers, you need to get the matching center too. The Energy center isn't a tonal match for the BS-21.

Thank you I definitely will not pursue that option
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post #10 of 14 Old 10-16-2012, 07:43 PM
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If you know how to look at the Bestbuy clearance website some stores have the Pioneers for dirt cheap. I got the 2 x floorstanding SP-BS51, 4 x bookshelves SP-BS21, and the center SP-C21 for under $200.
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post #11 of 14 Old 10-16-2012, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nickoakdl View Post

If you know how to look at the Bestbuy clearance website some stores have the Pioneers for dirt cheap. I got the 2 x floorstanding SP-BS51, 4 x bookshelves SP-BS21, and the center SP-C21 for under $200.

You got that recently? I can't find them on there
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post #12 of 14 Old 10-16-2012, 08:50 PM
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Also look at HTD Level Three Bookshelf speakers
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-three-speakers/Level-THREE-Bookshelf-Speakers

HTD Level Two Bookshelf
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers/Level-TWO-Bookshelf-Speakers
The center
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers/Level-TWO-Center-Channel-Speaker

Audioholics video review
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MOYrdpkHQGo
http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/speakers/floorstanding/htd-level-3-tower-speakers-video

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Receiver > Tascam PAR-200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #13 of 14 Old 10-16-2012, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rewhowes View Post

You got that recently? I can't find them on there

They won't show up on they desktop website, but for whatever reason their stock will show up if you use a mobile browser, like with a smartphone or tablet, at least that is what worked for me. Google "best buy deals near me" and then click on the first link. Pick your state and the store nearest you and hit "go," then click either "open box items" or "clearance items" and select "audio & mp3." Repeat that for whatever stores in your area until you find what you need.

Hopefully that makes sense to you. It's a bit of a PITA, but if you are able to find what you need it'll be well worth it. I'd call the store to make sure though as well. A store 50 minutes away from me was supposed to have a $400 7.1 3D ready receiver for $75, and when I got to the store they claim they had 1 at that price, but they couldn't find it after looking for 30 minutes. The Best Buy where I got all of my speakers today had all of the speaker on a high shelf that the CSR had to get some sort of fork lift to get.
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post #14 of 14 Old 10-18-2012, 06:16 PM
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The Take Classics are on sale for $150 at Newegg. I woudn't call them bookshelf size speakers, as they are little satellite speakers.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882269004&name=Home-Audio-Speakers

use promo code EMCJNJH22 to get $50 off the current $199 price. Sale ends Thursday 10/18.

Its gonna be a big dropoff in sound from your floorstanding speakers though. Those little sats wont sound nearly as full as your old large speakers. But if the wife is happy that's all that matters.

I'm going to go to New Egg for the Energy Take Classics. Wife will be happier. I;m toning down in my volume levels so I think they should work.
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