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post #1 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

Firstly I know you all hate the 901 but please hear me out. I am looking for speakers for a purpose not an overal audiophile extravaganza.

I'm just a normal non audiophile who likes music to fill a room. I don't want a sitting place where I can hear a version of perfection.

We hold regular parties covering everything from faithless, orb, azalea banks, dance, trance etc but I'd say the faithless rich warmth sound is about perfect as a example of what good we are trying to work to.

Room is usually fairly full, has got solid walls and is about 30ft x 20ft.

So for this reason the big (if poorly imaged) soundstage I've read about sounds perfect.

Also (brace yourselves) I want to run the sound from iTunes off my ipad or iPhone. Nice and simple, nice "ambient" sound is what I want - quiet and loud.

Heard the 901 in a demo set up and the power and (to my ears) immediacy of the sound blew me away.

Here's the question. I've got about £400 - that's all. If I had no life I'd compare every single speaker for £400 new and old with every amp but frankly I can't. The price is my constraint so I need to work with it.

So - there's a heap of anti-bose here so maybe there is something better but for £400 what will fill my room with decent, clear ish faithless better than 901s. Can be new or old.

If I do go 901 with the eq, what would I need to connect iPhone / ipad? The jack will go into any amp, the amp to the eq, the eq to the speakers right? Simple as that?

Thanks and sorry for yet another 901 but my query is specific and I couldn't find it already answered.
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post #2 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I'd just like to reiterate - more than happy with new or eBay kit. It's whatever I can get that is best for my party room purpose and very limited £400 budget. Thanks all.
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post #3 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surelynot View Post

So for this reason the big (if poorly imaged) soundstage I've read about sounds perfect.
Have you considered the low sensitivity and the need for an expensive external processor? For what your needs are it's a particularly poor choice.
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Heard the 901 in a demo set up and the power and (to my ears) immediacy of the sound blew me away.
If that was in a Bose listening room be aware that they set those up using a raft of specially configured processing. If you didn't compare it to other rigs side by side in the same room you were being hoodwinked.
Your best bet is to buy used, listen to what you're buying first.

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post #4 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 10:03 AM
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Have you considered the diy route? You can build some great speakers for any price. A room that large would benefit from high sensitivity speakers. If you place low sensitivity speakers in a room that large you will need to load them tons of power.

Assuming you are using 4 speakers placed in the corners. In a 20x30 room you will be roughly 18 feet away from them when you are standing in the center of the room. That is a loss of around 13 db. With 85db speakers you will need 100watts sustained into each of the speakers to reach 92 db of loudness which is fairly loud but not insane by any means. 100w rms into multiple channels is the threshold of common avr's. If you find speakers that are even 91db sensitivity you can reach 92 db loudness with like 30 watts which is easy to achieve.

In terms of rich sound quality look at horn loaded speakers. They offer controlled directivity which can help reduce pesky wall/boundary reflections.

My point with this is get higher sensitivity speakers and it will be easier to power them. Good luck and happy hunting.
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post #5 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Bill,

Thanks for comment. Low sensitivity and expensive external processor doesn't really mean much to me if I'm honest. I just don't know. What's it mean? What would I need to do / buy?

Hence I'm hoping for some guidance here. I don't know what they had in the system at the bose shop - but that sound, that's what I want.

It hadn't really occurred to me that even with 901's I still might not get what I heard demonstrated by the bose folks with my Iphone. Oh dear. Even harder than I thought frown.gif

So perhaps that's a better question. How do I get something that sounds like a showroom 901 demo?

I've tried a 1000w surround sound which surprisingly beat the hell out of my Cambridge audio separates with floor standing kef speakers in terms of size of noise and clarity. Cambridge / kef set up scored about 30/100 (for what I want as too directional with a tiny sweet spot in the middle if the room), 1000w surround hit about 50%, the 901 demonstrator was about 95% in a similar sized room.

Any brands I should look out for, what sort of wattage will really fill a room (1000w surround sound gives about half what I want but I know it's quality more than pure w's)? Floorstanders ceiling or small format? Friend spent thousands on in ceiling speakers and just terrible. Jbl set up was ok but just didn't have the embracing ambient noise but that's about all I've heard. And I can't really go visiting 100's of folks houses with systems on eBay saying "press play now" to choose. Too time consuming!
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post #6 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Petden,

I'll be honest it had never occurred that one could diy speakers and cabs. I love the idea of that but it sounds hideously complicated. Is there any gadgetry in actual speaker cabs or is it just cables connecting to drivers? Where do I start to find out??

I don't even know in a cab if the tweeter driver gets a different signal input to a standard driver!
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post #7 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Petden

I think I WANT to have sound bouncing off the walls. Brixton academy for example the sound is coming from all sides, ricocheting off the ceiling and the crowd.

If I were to come up with my own speakers my natural thought would be to have corner mounted ones with 5 faces. The 2 either side ie touching the wall would be blank cab, centre one and other two faces would spread the noise over 65 degrees. Four of those in corners with the right power rating sound to me like they would fill the room - fairly evenly - which is what I want.

But this is based on not a single fact or any knowledge just a dumb guess. Is it utter rubbish? I won't be offended - I'm keen to learn!
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post #8 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
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And on the basis that my 1000w Panasonic surround sound (6 speakers) wasn't loud enough what sort of sizing should I be looking for the wall speakers (excluding sub)? And is that best with lots of little drivers 901 style or a few big?
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post #9 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 10:40 AM
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When you read all the anti-Bose comments floating around, it is almost 99% about the Bose cubes that they rip people off with. The Bose 901 is not a bad speaker. I would say it's the one speaker Bose made that is actually pretty decent with the EQ.
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post #10 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 11:01 AM
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Sound bouncing off the walls sounds like a good thing however in general it can create harshness that isnt heard within the sweetspot and can usually make it feel as if the sweetspot is smaller than it actually is.

This forum has a great diy section that an answer all of your questions. I would purchase a kit if i were you because speaker design is very very difficult. Take a look at http://www.diysoundgroup.com/ They offer some really good kits where the drivers are already selected, the crossover is designed and can be assembled by the end user or purchased assembled.

Power is not a very good measure of loudness because there are other factors that play a more significant role such as sentivity. Sensitivity is how loud a speaker can play with one watt of power measured at one meter. It takes progressively more power to increase the volume of a speaker. The volume to wattage relationship is logirithmic.
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post #11 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Petden - thanks. I'll take a look. I think this may be the way to go!
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post #12 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vital View Post

When you read all the anti-Bose comments floating around, it is almost 99% about the Bose cubes that they rip people off with. The Bose 901 is not a bad speaker. I would say it's the one speaker Bose made that is actually pretty decent with the EQ.

I agree, if i were to own Blows, these would be the ones.

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post #13 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Actually having thought about this for all of half an hour I'm going to get some old 901s. With a total lack of knowledge if I was designing a speaker I'd put lots of drivers in. I'd want them multi- directional. I'd want low sensitivity because I value big bass (probably no correlation but its how it seems to a noob) and bullet proof. The sound I heard blew me away although I accept I may need more kit to get the demo experience.

I can accommodate big cabs. And to try lots of drivers in DIY setup would cost me as much as old 901s.

May not be technically good but I want floorfillers. Decision made but I expect and accept I may well have to reverse it. My risk.
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post #14 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 12:21 PM
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Tons of drivers can be implemnted very well however it takes considerable skill to implement properly. This is called a line array. Poorly implemented line arrays have some of the smallest sweetspots imagineable and can sound aweful. Multiple drivers can create constructive waves or destructive waves. My knowledge on this subject is limited however i believe destructive waves is what creates lobbing issues.
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post #15 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vital View Post

When you read all the anti-Bose comments floating around, it is almost 99% about the Bose cubes that they rip people off with. The Bose 901 is not a bad speaker. I would say it's the one speaker Bose made that is actually pretty decent with the EQ.

I agree. Once I defended a Bose 901 owner on the forum, and the response reminded me of recess at elementary school.

The later versions came with processing units to provide the necessary equalization, so I'd advise the OP to read some reviews of the various models before buying.

I think the 901 would suite his purpose well.
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post #16 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 02:21 PM
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While I dislike certain Bose marketing techniques, I also think the 901s are decent speakers.

Important FYI! ----> because of their mandatory, and included, external EQ box, they require an integrated amplifier or receiver with either a tape monitor loop or preamp output/input jacks (unfortunately tape monitor loops are really rare these days).
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post #17 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 02:32 PM
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Only thing I dont like about Bose is that it is harsh, Be prepared to cringe a couple times during your music session at higher volumes.
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post #18 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donutfan View Post

...

Important FYI! ----> because of their mandatory, and included, external EQ box, they require an integrated amplifier or receiver with either a tape monitor loop or preamp output/input jacks (unfortunately tape monitor loops are really rare these days).

That is valuable information for the OP.
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post #19 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 02:54 PM
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901's are good club/party speakers they can be fine for listening also in the fact that you don't have to sit in "the chair" (exact sweet spot if you will)
they present a unique distributed sound stage (they call it sound everywhere) not an altogether inaccurate description due to their direct /reflecting nature.
Not the most critically accurate speaker with pinpoint imaging, highs are rolled off as compared to some other speakers but overall a balanced not unpleasant sound . bass is decent not not like a sub . if you are doing loud Rapp/Hip Hop ,Dub step or eletronica an powered sub couldn't hurt

Feed them some healthy 250-300 wpc power ( more for older series I.II and III models) theIV and up are newer designs also more efficient I would go that route ,they can go beyond stupid loud and not break up . They were "the" disco/nightclub speaker in the 70's and 80's
frequently 2 pairs or more paired with beefy amps like phase linear 700b or some beefy Crown amps or something similar .

1 pr should be fine for your size room bose has placement instructions for the 901's at the website another alternative are the Bose 801's the pro version of the 901's with a beefy pro amp maybe an inexpensive Crown or QSC model ,you could and probably should use those with with either speaker .for best results. They use to suspend them from the ceilings near the corners in a lot of clubs it was actually somewhat pretty effective for clubs,sounded good and did not take up floor space. good if that is your primary use for that room ,otherwise I would follow the Bose instructions they can be picky about placement for best results.

An inexpensive Crown XLS 1000 or XLS 1500 or QSC GX3 pro amp will work fine they all have line level rca jacks so can plug your dock into them.
they are all in the ~$300.00 -$350.00 price bracket new. XLS 1000 is $299.00 now They can be found at Amazon, Sweetwater,ZZ Sounds, Musicians Friends ,Guitar Center ,etc. (look for one on sale) but those or similar can be found used on on Paybey all day again as with the speakers buy as new as you can if buying used. . you would ofc connect the bose equalizer ahead of the amplifier (between your dock or other line level source ) and the pro amp.
here are some Crown XLS specs how many home amps can double down like that!



lots of folks on the various forums have either never heard 901's set up right and given adequate power (not a AVR surround receiver ) or owned them either and lump them in with the small cube speakers (hardly the same thing and even those aren't that bad for movies and TV ).
.and like to pile on a flame war about which they know nothing . I've owned them and realizing their limitations and their strong points I had no complaints at all actually they can be a quite fun speaker to own if you have the space and like your music loud they can do that better than most.
Be aware that used ones that are 10+ years old may need the 18 drivers re foamed the kits are not expensive but it is a labor intensive very tedious job so buy as new as you can when buying used. make sure you have the correct Bose Equalizer with them and use it.
 You  would connect the Bose equalizer ahead of the amplifier (between your dock or other line level source  ) and the pro amp.  
Quote:
Bose®
901®
Series VI active equalizer is designed for specific use with
Bose 901 Series VI speakers. It may also be used with 901 Series V speakers.
WARNING: Bose 901 Series I, II, III, or IV speakers require a substantially
different equalization. The 901 Series VI active equalizer must not be used with
Series I – IV speakers. For additional information on the active equalizer, please
contact Bose Service.
http://products.bose.com/pdf/customer_service/owners/og_901.pdf

I have no interests or affiliations to any of the of the re sellers or retailers or their affiliates or to
any links or videos mentioned in this or any thread here at AVS they are provided for information purposes only


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post #20 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 03:20 PM
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http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=290-922

These are the replacement drivers for the 901. With how cheap they are i wouldnt bother with a refoaming kit. Much easier to just buy a new driver.
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post #21 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petden View Post

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=290-922

These are the replacement drivers for the 901. With how cheap they are i wouldnt bother with a refoaming kit. Much easier to just buy a new driver.

Maybe if you only need one (very unlikely btw they should usually all be replaced or re foamed at the same time.)
Complete re foam kits with instructions and adhesive are 39.95 at Simply Speakers they give you twenty surrounds in case you have to take a mulligan !.cool.gif


18 new drivers are 333.00 at PXP add in Tax + shipping for 18 drivers ?? then how much? Besides they are on backorder at PXP anyway.

$333.00 + tax + shipping for 18 speakers .... vs $39.95 for kit.?? What kind of math are you using something new?eek.gif

Hardly a small difference . better to find some newer ones that don't need foam
,unless you get them for really cheap newer ones have better foam than older ones also ancient ones have cloth.
ofc you know what they say about money for some people ...........easy come easy go!

regards
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post #22 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 04:11 PM
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post #23 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surelynot View Post

Petden

I think I WANT to have sound bouncing off the walls. Brixton academy for example the sound is coming from all sides, ricocheting off the ceiling and the crowd.

If I were to come up with my own speakers my natural thought would be to have corner mounted ones with 5 faces. The 2 either side ie touching the wall would be blank cab, centre one and other two faces would spread the noise over 65 degrees. Four of those in corners with the right power rating sound to me like they would fill the room - fairly evenly - which is what I want.

But this is based on not a single fact or any knowledge just a dumb guess. Is it utter rubbish?
It is utter rubbish. If the 901 was worth emulating it would be. When's the last time you saw a 901 knockoff?
Bose sells very well to those who have no understanding whatsoever of how loudspeakers work. Since that describes perhaps 99% of the population that gives them a very broad customer base. OTOH probably 99% of that 1% who do know how loudspeakers work avoid Bose like the proverbial plague.

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post #24 of 34 Old 09-28-2013, 09:09 PM
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While it is true that direct radiating speakers can easily fill that size room as well as 901's but for how much ? Used 901's are cheap they sold many millions of them 4 of those will fill the room in fact two will and cheaply .

lots of 901's around one thing Bose can do is sell speakers so that keeps the used availability good.
ofc if OP can find some good equally capable or even better direct radiating speakers within budget they are certainly worth considering also .
especially if you cold score some large JBL's not likely at the same asking price as used 901's though. if so the 901's you would be looking at are too much! cool.gif

otoh if you are thinking about spending $800.00 or more these pair of these NEW JBL JRX125 Dual 15" 2-Way Speakers are new at $958.00
maybe on sale somewhere who knows? I would definitely take those over the Bose unless they were going to be dual use in a family room or something.

JRX 125 are cheaper than the similar CV speakers new . OP would would be using source (if not fixed level ) or amp volume ofc on pro amp .
might want to see if there are any decent used or similar ones around? Like JBL and CV ofc JBL has more expensive ones also .

If OP want the folks to feel like they are in a club these would do it! of course there is the need of the correct equalizer with the Bose.
Op should make sure correct EQ comes with any Bose 901 he would buy .and his amp has a preamp or tape loop for the Eq ofc he could put the EQ in between line level source and input a pro amp .


SRSLY Bill has expertise in these matters maybe he can suggest something ?.
just as an example 85db is the average SPL for THX movies in theaters with peaks maybe 115 db all that can be calculated in your case with square footage or room measures like OP posted earlier maybe Bill can tell you more about that , thats what the pros do to get a desired level in a given space.
probably not that simple but at least part of it. rest assured 4 Big JBL's or even two should be enough.add a sub in with the JBL's or the bose
you will have it covered although the lower 15" in each JBL are supposed to cover most of that .




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post #25 of 34 Old 09-29-2013, 11:32 AM
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The point is how much is the time worth to you? I have never refoamed speakers before and would have no interest in refoaming 18 drivers. I would much rather spend $300 more to save myself hours.

Anyway with that time i think it would be much better spent assembling a diy kit. Not only is there more value in the diy kits but it would be similar or less time to get better units.
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post #26 of 34 Old 09-29-2013, 01:24 PM
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Buy 'em. We used these in our fraternity house years ago and they rocked the parties!
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post #27 of 34 Old 09-29-2013, 04:09 PM
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The Bose 901 aren't the cheapest speaker that can produce that db level...as Bill points out, the low sensitivity means they will need a lot if power and the very design means they require the right room to sound good and can sound awful in the wrong room- my friend Paul will attest! Had a set that were pretty good, until he moved to an irregular shaped room...

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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post #28 of 34 Old 09-29-2013, 10:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Op here. My op actively wanted other options! That was the point of the thread! - "I know lots of people hate the 901 but what is better new or used for £400 for what I want it to do?"!!!

I'm asking the 901 haters for price comparable alternatives. But as with every other thread on 901s you don't get genuine alternatives offered at second hand 901 money.

I really appreciate the comments made on this thread for keeping it mostly civil and some great points well made. I look forward to building my own - just not quite yet!.

So Bill - money where the mouth is - what should I buy used or new that has better volume, richness and club feel than 901's FOR THE SAME second hand cost?

You do seem to keep on insulting the 901 but I haven't heard you offer an alternative? I've picked up a set of series 4 now for less than £200 including EQ. What should I have bought in your opinion that is better for the same money?
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post #29 of 34 Old 09-30-2013, 12:18 AM
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Maybe you should give us what is available on your market for that price?

We in the uS don't know much about those things in the uK.

just 1 more pair of KLIPSCH Classic speakers...
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post #30 of 34 Old 09-30-2013, 12:58 AM
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It seems to me what you are looking for is what is often described as "party speakers". This is the antithesis of what most people on these forums want. We want speakers to be as accurate as possible within a budget or certain sound signature we find appealing. You want something that will fill a room with a lot of boom and sizzle, and could care less if it is anywhere close to accurate to what was originally recorded. With that in mind, I recommend you look into PA speakers (many inexpensive models can be found on ebay), Cerwin Vega, JBL, and older Sansui speakers just to name a few. If you can find a good pair of vintage Altec Lansing speakers you'd probably be in love. Look for models with multiple drivers per speaker and at least 15 inch woofers with an efficiency rating of 95db or higher. In the US, ebay is full of this type of speaker for around $100 a pair. You could 2, 3, 4, or 5 of them and pair them up with a cheap older 2 - 5 channel receiver or amp and easily have the sound you want for under $300 - $500 for the total system (US dollars)
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