I've had a home theater system (used equally for movies and music) for a number of years consisting of:
Onkyo TX-NR708 Receiver
Sony SS-K30ed bookshelf speakers (fronts)
Sony SS-CNK10ED center
[Sony SS-K10ed bookshelf (rears) -- though I'm currently using pre-wired in-wall speakers for the rears]
I also have an old B&K 2-channel amp given to me by a friend that I'm using to drive the front bookshelf speakers (with the Onkyo acting as a pre-amp).
I had a chance to pick up the Sony SS-K speakers for cheap years ago, and built the system around them. If you're not familiar with this line, they're a teardrop-shaped speaker that Sony built as an experiment in higher end (for them, anyway) speakers that was very well reviewed when they came out--but then Sony quickly abandoned the experiment.
Here are the specs on the fronts:
The sub is also better than your average Sony -- but it recently died on me.
I could simply replace the sub in the system, but I've looked for years for the SS-K90ed floor standing speakers as an upgrade to the fronts, without any success, so now I'm considering changing/upgrading the whole speaker system.
There seem to be some very good deals around right now on lower-mid-range speakers.
Newegg has the JBL Studio 1
series speakers and sub significantly discounted. I could pick up two of the Studio 180 floor standing speakers, the Studio 120c center, and the Studio Sub 150P for around $560.
Amazon has some great prices on the JBL ES
line. Not sure how the speakers compare, but these had higher initial retail prices than the Studio 1 series. A combination of the ES20 bookshelf speakers, the ES25C center, and the ES250P sub would only run about $500. Additionally, my local Fry's has the ES80 floor standing speakers on sale for $144/each.
The Polk PSW505
sub is also competitively priced right now, and I've looked at building a system around that.
I'd like to keep the package of fronts, center, and sub to between $500-$600. The room set-up makes sticking with the in-wall rears the easiest for now, but eventually I'd probably consider adding to the system, or moving the fronts to the rear in favor of larger fronts, so I'd like a system that I can grow with a little.
I know there are much better, higher priced options available, but any thoughts or advice on these systems, or options in this price range?
Unfortunately, not much of an opportunity to demo anything near where I live, so I'm going on reviews and research...