Help choosing the right speaker setup. New at this. Student, limited budget - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 01:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello guys and girls. I have been reading around the forum and i must say is that most of you do some outstanding work here. I hope to get more involve. 

 

So to my dilemma I really enjoy quality sound for music, games and movies. But given that I'm a student and broke. Mony is super tight for stuff like this. Unless i buy it with a credit offer. I bought a ps4 and planing to buy a new tv (vizio m 50, 55 or 60 depends on the price on Black friday) I have never owned a digital surround sound system. And would really like to have one if the quality of dts or dolby is good. But i have a budget to so the whole set up can not go over $170 I know is really limited and it must be bought true amazon. Here are my questions:

 

1.  First of all how much of a difference will rca to optical be in sound quality say from a 2.1 thx (logitech z623) rca to a cheap($160 Philips HTS3541/F7) blu-ray home theater. 

2. If RCA is good then I'm interested in bookshelf speaker since the seem to offer the best bang for the buck and can be use to further upgrade in the future. Will this be good for a small room 15*9 feet( i will move out by next year this is my dorm). 

3. If i decided to go the bookshelf route. Can i have 2 bookshelf speakers connected to d LP-2020A+ Lepai and a powered subwoofer for a 2.1 setup or will this amp be better Lepai LP-168HA 2.1. 

The setup will be used for gaming, music (i like almost everything), movies. Budget is 170 for all it can not go higher than that since I'm paying with the amazon store card and including the ps4 so i can take advantage of the 12 month no interest offer. 

 

Can you guys out together a system  for me that has the best audio quality in this budget. Or should i go with the logitech z623?

 

Thx for the help in advance.:)

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post #2 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 04:44 AM
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fwiw, that's not a very big budget but I would look at the lepai amp for $21; a pair of Dayton audio b652 speakers $48.50;and a polk psw 10 sub $100.( 50 cents to spare) this will give you a lot better sound than your tv speakers but remember to make sure your tv has an audio output

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post #3 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 05:58 AM
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You might just think about getting a DAC and a nice set of headphones. You aren't going to be able to get a worthwhile 2.1 setup for $170 unless you find an absolutely killer used deal. Here is something you can do for $170: Sennheiser HD 558s plus this DAC+headphone amp. That all is a hair under $170 and will sound so much better than any speaker+sub audio system that you can afford for the same price.

If you absolutely must have speakers, I would go with a 2.0 setup, and skip the sub. On your budget its better to do something right rather than everything wrong. I might get a used receiver or amp and a pair of the Pioneer SP bookshelf speakers. You really ought to look at what you can get used for speakers too.
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post #4 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 10:30 AM
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With a $170 budget, you should definitely go for a good set of headphones. Then save toward later on when you move out of your dorm.

If you have a desktop PC, a Xonar DG sound card would be a good choice because it will give you Dolby surround sound processing to take multichannel input into 2 channel for the headphones. Then pair it with the HD558s that ShadyJ mentioned. There is a simple (and reversible) mod you can do to the HD558s that will make them sound very close to the much more expensive HD598s.

If your computer already has an internal add-on sound card that has a built in headphone amp, then the DT990s could be a better choice over the 558s, particularly if you like bass heavy music. Those absolutely have to have a headphone amp, though.

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post #5 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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First of all thx for the replys. I should have said that I already own a like 4 headphones and i like the quality they offer. PLus ill be using headset to play games on the ps4 mainly an probably will save towards the astro a50. I waant the speakers to use them en friends are over, movie watching and listening to music.

 

Regarding the dayton b652 I have read that all the new ones (2013 are basically crap) is this true?. Will it be better to get let say:

Dayton Audio B652 (48.50)+ LP-2020A+(24.69)+ Polk PSW10 (99.99)=$173.19

Monoprice 108250 (48.89)+ LP-2020A+(24.69)+ Polk PSW10 (99.99)= $173.58

Micca Motion Series MB42 (59.66) LP-2020A+(24.69)+ Polk PSW10 (99.99)=$184

 

Or will it be better to instead spend more money for a 2.0 set up and get a subwoofer later down the road. Like this bookshelf for example (Will the lp_2020a be able to power them)

Sony SS-B3000(148.00)+ Lp-2020a+ = 172

Monoprice 108251 3-Way and a better amp?

 

What will you do and if the 2.0 setup is better what will be the best setup for 170 or less.

Thx again and sorry for the late reply.

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post #6 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 01:01 PM
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fwiw, I own 3 lepai amps and think they are great for certain purposes example I have one in my workshop with a pair of older tower speakers with my ipod.one powering my outdoor speakers on patio. and one my daughter is using in her dorm for music. I also have 5 Dayton b652's ( paid $29 a pair a few years ago)and Dayton sub 120 in my garage theater for my grand kids. wanted something that had decent sound and cheap so I wouldn't have to worry with 6-10 kids sometimes in garage kicking balls and horseplaying. also own other speakers ranging from $200-$2500. again you are not going to get $200 speaker quality but you will get better sound than what your tv produces and again for dorm use they are a good low budget speaker. http://www.stereophile.com/content/dayton-audio-b652-loudspeaker you could upgrade to the pioneer bookshelves (more money but better quality sound and would be better for future upgrade )but then you will be missing some bass without the sub which again is not a very good sub for watching say in your own home living room, but for a dorm it will give you a little boom. if your looking for something just for dorm living they should be fine imo. but if your looking to eventually up grade with, with that $170 amazon budget I would go with better speakers and not a sub. just my 2 cents

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post #7 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 01:08 PM
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I would take the Pioneer BS22 speakers over all of that list - and without a cheap sub.
Also, the Pioneer has decent bass.
http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SP-BS22-LR-Designed-Bookshelf-Loudspeakers/dp/B008NCD2LG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382818173&sr=8-1&keywords=pioneer+bs22

The only other 2 speakers that I would half-way think about, and with out a cheap sub,
is the Bic DV62si
http://www.amazon.com/BIC-America-DV62si-Bookshelf-Speakers/dp/B00006JPDI/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1382817534&sr=8-10&keywords=Sony+SS-B3000

And the Micca MB42X - the latest version
http://www.amazon.com/Micca-MB42X-Bookshelf-Speakers-Tweeter/dp/B00E7H8GG2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382818340&sr=8-1&keywords=micca+mb42x

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Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
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post #8 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
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So the 2.0 setup will be better and later get a sub.  Are the sony i posted that bad compared to the pioneers? 

Also sorry for all the question Im new to all of this. I'm trying to get the best under my budget. I forgot to add that i love base and I understand i should not expect super asse response from this type of 2.0 setup. But the more it has the better. Are the Cerwin Vega VE5M any good and what cheap amp will be better than the lp-2020a? What about this one JBL ES20 

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post #9 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 02:51 PM
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Yes, go 2.0 for now. And the Sony speakers are terrible. I don't know about the CWs. You aren't going to have great bass on your budget, sorry. The only way that is going to happen is if you are a patient used speaker market shopper. Occasionally people people up great deals on their speakers to get rid of them, craigslist is nice for this, and if you keep your eyes open for that you can get great speakers for a song.
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post #10 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 02:53 PM
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Go with the miccas or the pioneers. I'm about to buy the miccas for my brother for the same set up as you. I'm going to get the DTA 100 amp from Dayton audio

Onkyo TXSR607, Mythos 8 Center, Studio Monitor 350's, Klipsch S-10 surrounds, Bic F12 sub

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post #11 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 03:08 PM
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fwiw, if you do go for the pioneers you will also need a better amp as they are not very efficient and that lepai amp will distort and shut down if you plan on playing at loud volumes

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post #12 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 04:00 PM
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By the way, you can get inexpensive speakers with reasonably good bass extension if you are willing to do a bit of assembly yourself. I am talking about speaker kits. This kit for instance, has a modeled f3 of 39 Hz, and is only $80 per speaker. The Dayton BR-1's supposedly have good response down to the 50s. Dennis Murphy has an improved modified crossover for those, btw. A lot of people like these Overnight Sensations, and they have an f3 of 45 Hz. The recommended amp power for those is right in line with the Lepai amp. So you can have bass for your budget, it will just take a bit of assembly on your part to make that happen.
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post #13 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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So after all the responses you have given me I have 3 options:

1.The pioneer sp-bs22 ( i can buy them "used" it says open box on amazon) for $105 + whatever amp you deem good for it.

2.the Micca MB42X and lp-2020a+ amp o something better.

3. Bic America dv62si and a Lp amp or something better.

 

I dont know the difference or what amp i should get for any of this speakers.  I know in the price range most of the amp won't do justice to the speakers potential. But i cant spend more. The less i spend the better obviously. So any amp you suggest apart from the dayton Brad suggested. I saw some Fios but must of the amp i saw dont have controls for treble or base is this good or bad? This will be used mainly for my ps4 and music. 

 

Thx again for all the replys.

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post #14 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

By the way, you can get inexpensive speakers with reasonably good bass extension if you are willing to do a bit of assembly yourself. I am talking about speaker kits. This kit for instance, has a modeled f3 of 39 Hz, and is only $80 per speaker. The Dayton BR-1's supposedly have good response down to the 50s. Dennis Murphy has an improved modified crossover for those, btw. A lot of people like these Overnight Sensations, and they have an f3 of 45 Hz. The recommended amp power for those is right in line with the Lepai amp. So you can have bass for your budget, it will just take a bit of assembly on your part to make that happen.

Thx for the info man. I dont understand what the hz means for the music. I did look at some kit and some diy projects but I'm kind of a problem around power tools. They tend to get damaged when i used them :). I dont think it will be a good idea for me to buy one of those kit. I dont have the time to put together that. But thx for the suggestion anyway.

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post #15 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greye05 View Post

Thx for the info man. I dont understand what the hz means for the music
http://www.digitalprosound.com/2002/03_mar/tutorials/mixing_excerpt1.htm
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post #16 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greye05 View Post

So after all the responses you have given me I have 3 options:
1.The pioneer sp-bs22 ( i can buy them "used" it says open box on amazon) for $105 + whatever amp you deem good for it.
2.the Micca MB42X and lp-2020a+ amp o something better.
3. Bic America dv62si and a Lp amp or something better.

I dont know the difference or what amp i should get for any of this speakers.  I know in the price range most of the amp won't do justice to the speakers potential. But i cant spend more. The less i spend the better obviously. So any amp you suggest apart from the dayton Brad suggested. I saw some Fios but must of the amp i saw dont have controls for treble or base is this good or bad? This will be used mainly for my ps4 and music. 

I do not use those type of amps - I would check the pawn shops or craig-lists for a receiver.

I can not really speak for this amp - however for info, check into this Pyle Amp - with your
budget, there is not a lot to choose from
http://www.amazon.com/Pyle-2x75W-Stereo-Power-Amplifier/dp/B001P2R1RW/ref=sr_1_30?ie=UTF8&qid=1382830713&sr=8-30&keywords=pyle+power+amp

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #17 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I do not use those type of amps - I would check the pawn shops or craig-lists for a receiver.

I can not really speak for this amp - however for info, check into this Pyle Amp - with your
budget, there is not a lot to choose from
http://www.amazon.com/Pyle-2x75W-Stereo-Power-Amplifier/dp/B001P2R1RW/ref=sr_1_30?ie=UTF8&qid=1382830713&sr=8-30&keywords=pyle+power+amp

I have read a lot of bad things about those pyle amp. Will upgrading the power supply on the lp-2020 help. I saw a video on youtube of a guy running sp-bs22 with a lp-2020a+ and a 6amp power supply.

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post #18 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 07:25 PM
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GIven your budget limitations, the Lepai t-amp is your best bet. It will provide good audio for computer desktop use. If you had a larger budget, I would suggest the Topping TP21 for a bit better SQ, better build quality, and a little more output. Otherwise, zieglj01's suggestion of looking for a used receiver is a good idea. But this would bump up your budget yet again.

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post #19 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
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GIven your budget limitations, the Lepai t-amp is your best bet. It will provide good audio for computer desktop use. If you had a larger budget, I would suggest the Topping TP21 for a bit better SQ, better build quality, and a little more output. Otherwise, zieglj01's suggestion of looking for a used receiver is a good idea. But this would bump up your budget yet again.

Thx for the info. I remembered that my uncle has an old kenwood stereo system with receivers and amplifiers. So tomorrow i will go to his house and see if he could sell me the amp or better yet. Give it free to his poor nephew :D

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post #20 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 07:47 PM
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That's a great idea. I try to recycle all my old equipment by selling it on CL or Ebay, or giving it away. Maybe he would loan it to you until you eventually replaced it. smile.gif

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post #21 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
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Thx for the info. I remembered that my uncle has an old kenwood stereo system with receivers and amplifiers. So tomorrow i will go to his house and see if he could sell me the amp or better yet. Give it free to his poor nephew biggrin.gif

Now, that is the way to go - and Kenwood is decent.

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #22 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 08:03 PM
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Can you get a part time job and save up a bit more money? What's your major?

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post #23 of 101 Old 10-26-2013, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Now, that is the way to go - and Kenwood is decent.

 

Well lets see if he gives me a good price or gives it for free. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrlittlejeans View Post

Can you get a part time job and save up a bit more money? What's your major?

I would love to get a part time job. But the job market in Puerto Rico is horrible at the moment. I can not even get a seasonal job at any store. I'm actually doing my BS at Electrical engineering ( i hate it) plan to move to Computer engineering here at University of Puerto Rico- Mayaguez (Colegio). 

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post #24 of 101 Old 10-27-2013, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok so i went to my uncles house today and unfortunatly his planing to use the amp for the same thing as me. I actually recommended him the pioneer bs22 after you guy and  lot of positive readings about them. So I'm back with my initial plan.

I have narrowed my options to this 3, which will yo think will be better. The lp-2020a+ amp will be using a 6amp power supply. I have read a lot of good thing and actually theres a video of a guy running bs22 with the lp. Here are my 3 options.

JBL ES20+ lp2020a+

Polk Audio TSi100+ lp2020a+

Pioneer SP-BS22-LR + lp2020a+

What will offer the best price and sound of this 3. 

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post #25 of 101 Old 10-27-2013, 05:13 PM
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The Pioneer BS22 speakers

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Who and Where - is the Way, the Truth and the Life?

Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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post #26 of 101 Old 10-27-2013, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

The Pioneer BS22 speakers

Agreed. The Pioneer have great sound for the price.

There is a large discussion thread where you can learn more about that speaker series: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1278774/pioneers-speaker-genius-hits-low-price-point

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post #27 of 101 Old 10-27-2013, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Well you guys keep recommending them and all the articles i look at say the bs22 are the best for the money. I will give them a chance and buy them. I wanna thank all you  for taking time to answer all my question it helped a lot. But i still have some more questions. I keep reading about breaking in the speakers. What does this mean? Will they sound better after some days of use. Does cable quality matter and do this speakers come with cables. How much will it affect if i dont have the speakers in stands. THx going to order them in a few days and see if i can find one pair cheap. 

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post #28 of 101 Old 10-27-2013, 06:38 PM
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For those of you who have an easier time visualizing the audio spectrum in one-octave increments (like those found on a graphic equalizer), here's an octave look at the same chart.lh8uQf
Easy-To-Remember Golden Rules Of EQ
1. If it sounds muddy, cut some at 250Hz.
2. If it sounds honky, cut some at 500Hz.
3. Cut if you're trying to make things sound
better.
4. Boost if you�re trying to make things sound
different.
5. You can't boost something that's not there

in the first place.
31Hz Rumble, "chest"
63 Hz Bottom
125Hz Boom, thump, warmth
250Hz Fullness or mud
500Hz Honk
1KHz Whack
2KHz Crunch
4KHz Edge
8KHz Sibilance, definition, "ouch!"
16 KHz Air
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post #29 of 101 Old 10-27-2013, 07:05 PM
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Some people think that the speakers sound better after some break-in. I wouldn't stress about it. Just use them like normal.

Monoprice makes good premium cables that won't break the bank. If you need speaker wire, there prices are good for that too.
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post #30 of 101 Old 10-27-2013, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greye05 View Post

But i still have some more questions. I keep reading about breaking in the speakers. What does this mean? Will they sound better after some days of use. Does cable quality matter and do this speakers come with cables. How much will it affect if i dont have the speakers in stands. THx going to order them in a few days and see if i can find one pair cheap. 

I would not be too concerned about breaking in speakers - just hook them up and play them.
They do not sound bad at anytime.

They do not come with wire - In a small room, standard 16 awg wire is fine - however, I use
14 awg wire for all my stuff, prices are good.

Speakers for the most part do sound better on stands - however if not on stands, just make sure
that the tweeter is near ear level, and leave some room for the back port to breathe, and give them
some space from corner walls.

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
Receiver > Tascam PA-R200, Pioneer VSX-30
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