Speaker Recommendations for under $600 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 05-26-2013, 06:05 AM - Thread Starter
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I would appreciate some opinions on speaker options for those willing to share. i just purchased the pioneer SC-1222-K for $550 (which i was excited to bring the BB price down from $1100 due to newegg's price), and i was convinced by the subwoofer forum that i should first get a feel for the speakers in the room before buying the sub. I have a fairly large volume with a 18x20 room and 16' vaulted ceiling. in addition, its an open floor plan so the volume is fairly open to kitchen, dining room, and office. my budget for speakers is ~$600, which im replacing an old ONKYO 7.1 that I'd be more than willing to re-use a few speakers for side/rear. i've done some quick research to find the options below.

OPTION 1: Polk Audio
center - CS20 ($150) http://www.crutchfield.com/p_107CS20C/Polk-Audio-TSi-CS20-Cherry.html?tp=189&awkw=25135402945&awat=pla&awnw=g&awcr=6453702265&awdv=c
L/R - TSi400 ($230ea) http://www.crutchfield.com/p_107TSI400C/Polk-Audio-TSi400-Cherry.html?tp=185&awkw=25135401985&awat=pla&awnw=g&awcr=6453701185&awdv=c
OPTION 1 TOTAL: $610

OPTION 2: Klipsch
center - synergy c-20 ($180) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882780030
L/R - synergy f-20 ($170ea) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882780027
OPTION 2 TOTAL: $520

any opinions of the above? perhaps similar cost options that you would recommend? any help would be greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 35 Old 05-26-2013, 06:20 AM
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The matching center speaker for the TSi400 is the CSi A4.

The CS20 is not what you want.

IMO the Polks are much better-sounding overall than the Klipsch speakers you list. Klipsch makes some good speakers, but the Synergy line gets a lot of negative comments from people who own them.
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post #3 of 35 Old 05-26-2013, 06:24 AM
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The matching center speaker for the TSi400 is the CSi A4.

The CS20 is not what you want.
The "Recommended Products" tab on the Polk website's product page for the TSi400 lists the CS20, the CS10 and the CS-C - but not the CSiA4 - as CC speakers to pair with the TSi400.

(And the "Recommended Products" tab on the product page for the CSiA4 does not list the TSi400s as mains to pair with the CSiA4.)
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post #4 of 35 Old 05-26-2013, 06:28 AM
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Well then, some clerk screwed up.

The "TSi" and "CSi" are the speakers that were designed as a system, and THEY are the matching speakers....
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post #5 of 35 Old 05-26-2013, 06:31 AM
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If you like the Polks how about some refurbs the RTI line which will be much better and still close to 600.

RTI 8's (cherry or black just copied link for black)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/RTi8-BLACK-Towers-Polk-Audio-NEW-PAIR-/390589496032?pt=Speakers_Subwoofers&hash=item5af0f2bae0

CSI 5 center (cherry or black as well)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/CSi5-BLACK-Center-Channel-Polk-Audio-RTi-Series-Speaker-/390563973054?pt=Speakers_Subwoofers&hash=item5aef6d47be

Total is $625 and will best either of the other options in my opinion.

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post #6 of 35 Old 05-26-2013, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Well then, some clerk screwed up.

The "TSi" and "CSi" are the speakers that were designed as a system, and THEY are the matching speakers....

The CSI(a) centers go with the RTI(a) towers/bookshelves and FXI(a) surrounds.

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post #7 of 35 Old 05-26-2013, 06:40 AM
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Well, the bottom line, IMO, is that the CS20 and CS10 are not good-sounding speakers and I would never recommend them for ANY system.
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post #8 of 35 Old 05-26-2013, 06:42 AM
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Dont listen to commsysman. Ive never seen a troll with so many posts. The cs10 and cs 20 are the center matches for the tsi line. The csi a4 and csi a6 are center matches for the rtia line. Ignore any advice commsysman gives.
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post #9 of 35 Old 05-26-2013, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Well then, some clerk screwed up.

The "TSi" and "CSi" are the speakers that were designed as a system, and THEY are the matching speakers....
There is no CSi series, but there is an RTi series and a TSi series. They have separate catalogues and the "Recommended Products" page of one series does not list products from the other series.

It would appear that someone other than "some clerk" has screwed up... wink.gif
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post #10 of 35 Old 05-26-2013, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Well then, some clerk screwed up.

The "TSi" and "CSi" are the speakers that were designed as a system, and THEY are the matching speakers....

Wrong...The CSI-A4 & 6 are matched for the RTI-A series speakers.
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post #11 of 35 Old 05-26-2013, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SupaKats View Post


If you like the Polks how about some refurbs the RTI line which will be much better and still close to 600.

Total is $625 and will best either of the other options in my opinion.

So you feel they are that much better that you would be willing to spend the same amount for refurbished? I'm not a big fan of refurbished in general, but then again I'm not overly familiar with speakers. Are they truly that much different, even for the faint of hearing like myself?

thanks for the comments BTW!
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post #12 of 35 Old 05-26-2013, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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How about some opinions for similar cost (~$600-650) speakers, but that are new? Like I said, im interested in a L/R/C for large volume space, vaulted ceilings, and open floor plan. Also there is tile flooring if that plays a role. As for selection, I see so many great deals online with newegg and the like, I'd hate to buy something at full price because i was stubborn. if anyone knows of any great deals I'd be open ears!
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post #13 of 35 Old 05-26-2013, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by screeli View Post

So you feel they are that much better that you would be willing to spend the same amount for refurbished? I'm not a big fan of refurbished in general, but then again I'm not overly familiar with speakers. Are they truly that much different, even for the faint of hearing like myself?

thanks for the comments BTW!

Check the Polk thread for others opinions.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/618137/calling-all-polkies-official-polk-thread

I have never heard the TSi but the consensus is that the RTi is that much better from what people post.

I have the RTi A5 which replaced the RTi 8 and the CSi 5 which I linked in my basement theater and love them.

Also people have had very favorable experiences withe eBay store and recommend it all the time. I don't usually have luck with refurb but am looking at getting some FXi A4 surrounds from the eBay store when I have the extra money.

My Basement HT/Gaming/Bar Space.

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post #14 of 35 Old 05-26-2013, 11:21 AM
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I would skip both the Klipsch Synergy and especially Polk Tsi. For the same price, you can get some very nice 3.0 bookshelf speaker packages from Hsu, Ascend, and HTD. You can also get a great 3.0 in an Infinity Primus setup, some p363 towers and a c351 center, that will own both the Polk and Klipsch setups.
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post #15 of 35 Old 05-26-2013, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by screeli View Post

How about some opinions for similar cost (~$600-650) speakers, but that are new? Like I said, im interested in a L/R/C for large volume space, vaulted ceilings, and open floor plan. Also there is tile flooring if that plays a role. As for selection, I see so many great deals online with newegg and the like, I'd hate to buy something at full price because i was stubborn. if anyone knows of any great deals I'd be open ears!

Fry's has grest sales 3-4 times a year. They had Polk RTI-12's(old version of the A9) on sale for 299.00 each about a month ago. I dont care what anybody says, there is no speakers in existance that will do what that speakers does for 299.00.
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post #16 of 35 Old 05-26-2013, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

I would skip both the Klipsch Synergy and especially Polk Tsi. For the same price, you can get some very nice 3.0 bookshelf speaker packages from Hsu, Ascend, and HTD. You can also get a great 3.0 in an Infinity Primus setup, some p363 towers and a c351 center, that will own both the Polk and Klipsch setups.

I actually agree with you for a change lmao. the TSI line is not great and part of the reason why folks like yourself rip on Polk. However I dont blame them for getting into the budget market, not nearly as many people spend thousands on audio equipment like they did in the 90's. Still Imo the Polk RTI-A series are some of the best speakers in thier price class.
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post #17 of 35 Old 05-26-2013, 02:04 PM
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OP - good idea to put your money into a new LCR front stage speakers and use your older speakers as surrounds and back surrounds for now. Question - are you open to bookshelf speakers for your LR mains, or just towers?

You have a big room so this is a consideration when recommending speakers in your budget range.
- The Klipsch are a logical choice in your situation but I would strongly recommend you hear them first - they have a specific treble signature that most people either love or hate.
- My concern about the Polk's is that the most common complaint happens in the treble when you push the volume - which will likely be the case in your large room.

In your price range (under $600) here are some other commonly recommended speakers that would easily fill your large space. To my ears these have better sound quality than the Polks or Klipsch ...

- HTD Level Two Towers and Center - $530 http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers

- HTD Level Three Bookshelves and Center - $500 http://www.htd.com/Products/level-three-speakers (IMO slight better sq than the L2 towers.)


If you can increase your budget just a bit here are some other commonly recommend speakers that would be good for your space ...

- Arx AC3 towers and A2c Center - $710 http://www.theaudioinsider.com/manufacturers.php?mPath=13&osCsid=9ea5712832e73da9c0cc20ccff61a799

- Ascend CMT-340 bookshelves LCR - $800
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cmt340m/cmt340m.html
http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cmt340c/cmt340c.html

Good luck!
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post #18 of 35 Old 05-27-2013, 06:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post

Fry's has grest sales 3-4 times a year. They had Polk RTI-12's(old version of the A9) on sale for 299.00 each about a month ago.

I just checked Fry's out to see what they might have on sale. The Infinity Primus 363 6.5" is on sale for $108. Is this speaker competitive and worth consiudering? Its probably not as good as some of the ones everyone has been mentioning, but it would leave quite a bit in my budget to get a good sub. Any comments on the Infinity Primus 363? see link below...

http://www.frys.com/ads/audio-video-television-cameras-portable-car-electronics#AdNavi
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post #19 of 35 Old 05-27-2013, 06:37 AM
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The P363 would definitely be an option, especially if you can get a better sub with the extra $ that you would save. How much did you already have budgeted for a sub?

With a 18 x 20 x 16 room you'll probably need a very large subwoofer 15" or more or two 12" subs.

the matching Infinity center is the PC351 which usually goes for $199. It is quite large too.
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_108PC351BK/Infinity-Primus-PC351.html?tp=189&awkw=25366696705&awat=pla&awnw=g&awcr=6535433425&awdv=c

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post #20 of 35 Old 05-27-2013, 06:48 AM
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I believe infinity bookshelves are also on sale so if you want you could get those as surrounds.

My Basement HT/Gaming/Bar Space.

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Epson 8350 on a 100" Visual Apex screen, Pioneer VSX-53, Polk RTi A5(x2) CSi 5 RTi A1 (x2) RTi 4(x2), Outlaw Audio LFM-1 EX, PS3, XBox 360 with HD-DVD add-on.
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post #21 of 35 Old 05-27-2013, 10:06 AM
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Hard to beat the Ascends, for that price as well as killer bang for the buck ratio. The Ascends in my room(17x22x8) are very easy to place, throw up a nice wide soundstage and get plenty loud for my listening. This set being 170se's and a 340se for a center. I have done 3x340s across the front as well. In my room, I'm really digging the 170s for left and right with the 340 for the center. The 170se's do a wonderful job with the midrange and high end...with this setup a sub is mandatory for me anyway.
You could also do Arx, never heard them, but lots of peeps like them a lot. I have had Swan D2.1se+ in this room and they are Awesome. They do take room(4feet from any wall) and a bit of juice to make them shine. They were a bit picky about placement, but when you find their happy place, they FILL my room with buttery smooth and Loud sound. No sub necessary for music...They put out serous ass end for that size of speaker. A pair of those and a matching center comes in at your budget. You could also try a set of Danas...again, haven't had them, but many people like them. Jon at theaudioinsder is a cool cat to deal with besides...
If you feel like a hunt, try the used market...there are plenty of killer deals to be had...I just sold a set of Dynaudios, for Your budget, that new, were $2k for the 3. I took a crazy notion and put the 170s next to the Dyns for a couple of weeks and found I enjoyed the Ascends(with sub) a little more. Crazy talk you say....nahhhh. The Dyns by themselves are better, do more, fill the room....but with a sub...things change a bit. Needless to say the Ascends stayed and I ordered more during the current sale. ...sorry, got off into a rant,
bottom line, It's your money/ears...there are lots of options for you. At your price point, I would do ID for sure...Your room WILL make a difference. You may have to try a few pair, in YOUR room, before you find one you REALLY like. The cost of shipping the set you didn't like back is what it will cost you to find out...Enjoy the hunt...For me, the hunt is the best thing AFTER listening to the music!
sorry, I see you ask for a $600 budget...I was thinking $800...hadn't had my coffee yet.

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post #22 of 35 Old 05-27-2013, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post

Fry's has grest sales 3-4 times a year. They had Polk RTI-12's(old version of the A9) on sale for 299.00 each about a month ago. I dont care what anybody says, there is no speakers in existance that will do what that speakers does for 299.00.

Are you sure about those numbers Mr. Basshead? Frys has them listed for about $840 each. That $299 does sound like a good deal for that model.

http://www.frys.com/product/6895346#detailed

Symmetry pleases the eye, but it usually offends the ears where low frequencies are concerned. -Yoda Fitzmaurice
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post #23 of 35 Old 05-27-2013, 09:13 PM
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They come on sale probably once every quarter at Fry's for $299. I've seen them there too!

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post #24 of 35 Old 05-28-2013, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I've found some good deals, but i have until wednesday to decide. I see that allot of people like the the Infinity Primus P363s, but others that claim the RTi12 is a BIG step above. See my current options below and let me know your thoughts...

Option 1 - Infinity Primus P363 (2 for $265 after shipping) coupled with PC351 ($200) - $465 TOTAL
Option 2 - Polk Audio RTi12 (2 for $300 used coupled with CSi5 ($185 used) - $485 TOTAL
Option 3 - JBL E380 (2 for $340) coupled with JBL ES25 ($170) - $510 TOTAL

I like all 3 for different reasons, so comments would be greatly appreciated!
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post #25 of 35 Old 05-28-2013, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by screeli View Post

I've found some good deals, but i have until wednesday to decide. I see that allot of people like the the Infinity Primus P363s, but others that claim the RTi12 is a BIG step above. See my current options below and let me know your thoughts...

Option 1 - Infinity Primus P363 (2 for $265 after shipping) coupled with PC351 ($200) - $465 TOTAL
Option 2 - Polk Audio RTi12 (2 for $300 used coupled with CSi5 ($185 used) - $485 TOTAL
Option 3 - JBL E380 (2 for $340) coupled with JBL ES25 ($170) - $510 TOTAL

I like all 3 for different reasons, so comments would be greatly appreciated!

Can't speak the the JBL and have only heard the Infinity a little but but the Polks should be the far superior choice,

Also check this post from someone with more experience with the Infinity

http://www.avsforum.com/t/618137/calling-all-polkies-official-polk-thread/17910#post_23195471

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post #26 of 35 Old 05-28-2013, 05:36 PM
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With respect to bass, the Polk will be a lot better. I do think the Primus tweeter handles loud listening levels better though. The mid woofers on the Infinity are very highly regarded, although two mid woofers on the Polk should offer a bit more headroom. The Polk should have a much better cabinet.
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post #27 of 35 Old 05-28-2013, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
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unfortunately the Polk RTi12 are no longer available at that price, so my options are somewhat limited. I am also interested in a few others based on deals I've found. Any opinions on the below? Which are the best for the money?

1-Infinity Primus P363 for $135
2-Polk Audio 55T for $150
3-Polk Audio 65T for $200
4-Polk Audio 75T for $250
5-Martin Logan Motion 12 for $300

thanks in advance!
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post #28 of 35 Old 05-28-2013, 07:03 PM
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[quote name="afrogt" url="/t/1474364/speaker-recommendations-for-under-600#post_23362730"]They come on sale probably once every quarter at Fry's for $299. I've seen them there too![/quote]

OK, fair enough!

I don't follow Frys, but I do follow Newegg. Newegg is notorious for pricing for instance the Klipsch RW-12d subwoofer at $999 retail, making the "selling price" at $350 to $650, then on a VERY regular basis dropping it to $299, which most of us followers of the Egg refer to it as the "regular" price. It sounds like you're saying Frys does the same type of yo-yo price marketing.

Do you have an opinion as to what those speakers should be at their "regular" price? If you see them drop to the $300 level, would you let me know? I think I would be a buyer at that price, unless someone else has a better $300 (each) speaker in mind.

Symmetry pleases the eye, but it usually offends the ears where low frequencies are concerned. -Yoda Fitzmaurice
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post #29 of 35 Old 05-28-2013, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
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i just found a local used deal and was curious of others opinions. They are asking $345 for the set, which I may be able to get the price down a bit. The kit includes the following:

Klipsch F2 standing floor speakers (2), F2Center, and Sub (Sub 10. 120V model #T2.0AL 250V)

they claim 6-7 years old. see pics in the link...

orlando.craigslist.org/ele/3715837033.html

seem like a good deal? Would anyone be worried about speakers sitting in storage for 3 years?
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post #30 of 35 Old 06-08-2013, 05:09 AM - Thread Starter
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an update on my speaker adventure...

I placed a backorder with Fry's when the price on the JBL ES80 was on sale for $108. Thought it was a steal given the price, but who knows when it will be in stock. given the reviews, i have no interest in paying the next best price of $200 + S&H, but still think the $108 is well worth it. since i last posted i have purchased the JBL 120c and the Klipsch rw-12d, so my setup looks like this.

Room: 18x20x15 (large open volume)
Receiver: pioneer SC-1222-K
Sub: klipsch rw-12d
Center: JBL studio 120c
Front: NEED OPINIONS
others: left over from onkyo 7.1 system (low quality, but OK for now)

my options are the following:

1 - wait for JBL ES80 to become in stock (purchased at $108 on back-order so who knows how long it will take. i can get refund at any time.)
2 - JBL studio 180 at $130 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882665155)
3 - Polk Audio 75T at $250 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882290272)
4 - Infinity Primus P362 at $200 (http://www.overstock.com/Electronics/Infinity-Primus-P362-Single-Tower-Speaker/2346641/product.html)
5 - any other recommendations under $250 each?
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