Pioneer SP-BS22 Setup question - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 01-05-2014, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I hope you guys aren't tired of the SP-BS22 hype that seems to be going on, but would you guys mind answering a few questions for me?

I just got these speakers and in the store, they sounded pretty canny and I didn't expect much from them, but when I brought them home (along with the matching subwoofer, the sw-8mk2), I was almost blown away at how good they sounded. I'm not an experienced audiophile, but I know what I like to hear. Initially, I hadn't even turned the subwoofer on and the bass from the little bookshelf speakers really caught me off guard.

What I do want to know is if i'm setting up the subwoofer wrong, because the mid to upper bass seems to be lacking. It disappears sometimes on albums such as "By the Way" by the chili peppers. Is this because I haven't correctly dialed in the frequency for the low-pass filter on the subwoofer or am I expecting too much from these bookshelfs?

If it's just a matter of upgrading to the floor standing model, I will definitely do that, but I was wondering if it was something that could be remedied easily by setting up the subwoofer correctly.

Thanks a lot.


oh snap, I didn't mention any of my setup details:
room: about 11x20 with the speakers set up on one of the the 20 foot walls
amplifier: music hall a15.2
turntable: pro-ject debut carbon with ortofon 2m red
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post #2 of 24 Old 01-05-2014, 10:19 PM
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you really need to take the time to setup a sub, you just cant place it and hope you got it right. you could have room nulls where you are listening and that will lead to no bass.

we dont know how big your room is but that sub is not very good and for the price of it you could get something better... if it was me id return it.
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post #3 of 24 Old 01-06-2014, 07:04 AM
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Crank the Low Pass Filter knob on the subwoofer to max (150hz), set the volume knob to 50%.

And then on your receiver set the Pioneer SP-bs22 with a crossover of 80hz.

And to make sure you have the best placement for your subwoofer do the subwoofer crawl http://www.audioholics.com/home-theater-connection/crawling-for-bass-subwoofer-placement
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post #4 of 24 Old 01-06-2014, 07:33 AM
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I have a pair of 22's. They recommend crossover points between them and subs at 100hz.

Since the OP admits not being an audiophile and is blown away by these modest Pioneers, I'd say just keep listening for a while - like months. I think he's just used to boomy/resonant bass as opposed to more accurate and tight bass. (Haven't heard the SW8's though.)
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post #5 of 24 Old 01-06-2014, 08:23 AM
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It would be very helpful if some of you guys had some information to base your opinions on instead of wild-ass-guesses.

It is obvious that you have not looked at the frequency-response curve for the speaker published in Stereophile recently.

It would be kind of helpful to READ the BS-22 review!! It is available at the Stereophile website, and contains a lot of useful information.

It shows the speaker response as being flat down to around 65 Hz, and then dropping off rapidly.

Based on that, it would make sense to set the subwoofer to operate from 20 to 60-80 Hz. NO HIGHER!

If it operates any higher in f than that, it will overlap the BS-22 too much and the midbass above 80 hz will be muddy, boomy, and poorly defined, due to the overlap between the speakers and sub.

Setting the subwoofer to go any higher than 70 or 80 Hz is guaranteed to totally F up the sound.

When you say the "UPPER BASS" seems to be lacking, that seems strange, since the BS-22 covers that range nicely by itself. Shut off the subwoofer and see if it improves.

If it does, then the subwoofer is INTERFERING with the bass of the main speakers, and you need to turn down the subwoofer crossover f until you get it right.
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post #6 of 24 Old 01-06-2014, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

It would be very helpful if some of you guys had some information to base your opinions on instead of wild-ass-guesses.

It is obvious that you have not looked at the frequency-response curve for the speaker published in Stereophile recently.

It would be kind of helpful to READ the BS-22 review!! It is available at the Stereophile website, and contains a lot of useful information.

It shows the speaker response as being flat down to around 65 Hz, and then dropping off rapidly.

Based on that, it would make sense to set the subwoofer to operate from 20 to 60-80 Hz. NO HIGHER!

If it operates any higher in f than that, it will overlap the BS-22 too much and the midbass above 80 hz will be muddy, boomy, and poorly defined, due to the overlap between the speakers and sub.

Setting the subwoofer to go any higher than 70 or 80 Hz is guaranteed to totally F up the sound.

When you say the "UPPER BASS" seems to be lacking, that seems strange, since the BS-22 covers that range nicely by itself. Shut off the subwoofer and see if it improves.

If it does, then the subwoofer is INTERFERING with the bass of the main speakers, and you need to turn down the subwoofer crossover f until you get it right.

Having just listened to my 10" and 12" subs going between 80 and 100 hz crossover points (using the adjustments on the subs themselves), I'd be rather surprised if you could detect any if much difference between the two with the OP's 8" sub and his 22's. There maybe a little but not much - I'd say it'd come down more to his preference and his room.

But having said that - I'll probably turn down those crossover points to 80hz myself having them set at 100 hz before. biggrin.gif

But I know that on some recordings (on some of those older recordings without much bass) I really should boost some of the lower bass.
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post #7 of 24 Old 01-06-2014, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
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i may mean mid bass and not upper bass. There are two tracks on the aforementioned chili peppers album that I use as "reference" tracks, because I know how I think the bass should sound/I know how I want them to sound. In one track, the bass line is mostly on the bottom E string, but when Flea moves higher, the punch almost completely disappears.

This disparity is really perplexing, so maybe it's a placement issue. Turning off the subwoofer sounds like a good idea for a noob like me and I'll read up on the bass crawl to get proper placement if the mid to upper bass returns.

And I don't think i'm used to boomy bass. As a bass player, i've always ran away from boomy bass like the plague. I like tight and bright bass with articulation so that the notes I played were heard ant not muddied. The subwoofer isn't really providing any of that, but I don't think I should be expecting that from a subwoofer, right?

Why isn't the sw-8mk2 a good sub for the price? what else should I look at?

Again, please give me more opinions on whether the mid to upper bass is better represented by the fs52 speakers or if i should stick with the bookshelfs. And again, i will switch off the sub to see if improper sub setup made that mid to upper bass disappear.
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post #8 of 24 Old 01-06-2014, 10:21 AM
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Before we go on, we should know the size of your room (or total space) and how far away are you listening.

Also - I don't mean to offend cause it happens - make sure all the speakers are hooked up in phase - + to +, - to -.
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post #9 of 24 Old 01-06-2014, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Setting the subwoofer to go any higher than 70 or 80 Hz is guaranteed to totally F up the sound.
Um No it wouldn't. The industry standard is 80hz crossover with LPF at 120hz. So please again explain why you know better than industry sound standard.

And its not wild ass guess its science.
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Originally Posted by mikejungle View Post

Why isn't the sw-8mk2 a good sub for the price? what else should I look at?

Again, please give me more opinions on whether the mid to upper bass is better represented by the fs52 speakers or if i should stick with the bookshelfs. And again, i will switch off the sub to see if improper sub setup made that mid to upper bass disappear.
Your speakers should be able to handle all frequencies from 70hz up to 20k Hz. The towers would be able to handle more bass but they have more drivers and a better frequency response over all.

For the price of the Pioneer subwoofer its a great unit. Ignore the nay sayers. A different subwoofer though might allow for a better setup for your speakers if the amp of the newer subwoofer has both hi-level input and outputs, the Pioneer sub only has inputs.

If your room is closed off with 8 foot ceiling its only about 1800 cu. ft. which is plenty small for that set-up
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post #10 of 24 Old 01-06-2014, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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haha, i think i've set all the speakers up in phase.

so rob, it sounds to me like you're saying that the FS speakers would be better if i'm still lacking that mid bass after experimentation.

should the subwoofer be able to give me that mid to upper bass? I care less about the sub bass so if setting the freq higher helps, i'll try that.

i'm trying to decide whether the, "best" setup is:
1) what i have with the two bookshelfs and the subs
2) just the two towers (lotr?)
3) the two towers AND the sub

Is there a "best" setup? Especially for what i'm looking for?

thanks for all the replies.
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post #11 of 24 Old 01-06-2014, 11:13 AM
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I compared my 52's with the 22's with my 10" sub and there certainly is more bass punch however, I'm not sure that it's going to be enough or low enough - but you can notice a difference.

Because you're a bass player, I'm afraid you wouldn't like any other the other cheaper subs like this - http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-sub-1200-12-120-watt-powered-subwoofer--300-629 - which I think you would find too boomy. It certainly will go lower than the SW8.

My thought is that you really wouldn't care for any sub until you can spend much more at the $500+ range.
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post #12 of 24 Old 01-06-2014, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charmerci View Post

I compared my 52's with the 22's with my 10" sub and there certainly is more bass punch however, I'm not sure that it's going to be enough or low enough - but you can notice a difference.

Because you're a bass player, I'm afraid you wouldn't like any other the other cheaper subs like this - http://www.parts-express.com/dayton-audio-sub-1200-12-120-watt-powered-subwoofer--300-629 - which I think you would find too boomy. It certainly will go lower than the SW8.

My thought is that you really wouldn't care for any sub until you can spend much more at the $500+ range.


to the contrary the sub1200 is a very good sub for the money, sure you can do better but they aint bad. i have 2 of them and they are NOT boomy.

this is a review by Jman


http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/speaker-subwoofer-reviews/71766-dayton-audio-sub-1200-subwoofer-review.html

if his room is really small he be able to get away with the pioneer sub, but why do that?
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post #13 of 24 Old 01-06-2014, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejungle View Post

haha, i think i've set all the speakers up in phase.

so rob, it sounds to me like you're saying that the FS speakers would be better if i'm still lacking that mid bass after experimentation.

should the subwoofer be able to give me that mid to upper bass? I care less about the sub bass so if setting the freq higher helps, i'll try that.

i'm trying to decide whether the, "best" setup is:
1) what i have with the two bookshelfs and the subs
2) just the two towers (lotr?)
3) the two towers AND the sub

Is there a "best" setup? Especially for what i'm looking for?

thanks for all the replies.

option 3) is the best but not always in budget. I find I have a preference for bookshelves with a subwoofer. Poineer towers to me seemed to lack bass just by themselves but

Make sure you are giving the rear port in your pioneer's room to breathe. Like 6inches.

So you feel you are missing bass are you using just the speakers subwoofer turned off?

Its hard to say mid to upper bass will be better but they will hold more depth to their sound.

Personally I have rarely found a huge noteable difference between bookshelf speakers with a decent subwoofer versus a tower by themselves, but that is just my ears.

You could try the towers in your home and if they improve the sound to your like return the other speakers, it not return the towers and go shoping for other speakers from the start
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post #14 of 24 Old 01-06-2014, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mark62 View Post

to the contrary the sub1200 is a very good sub for the money, sure you can do better but they aint bad. i have 2 of them and they are NOT boomy.

this is a review by Jman


http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/speaker-subwoofer-reviews/71766-dayton-audio-sub-1200-subwoofer-review.html

if his room is really small he be able to get away with the pioneer sub, but why do that?

I was just basing that on the fact that he's a bass player who doesn't like boomy bass, is primarily interested in music and that I have a SUB 1200. It's a fine sub for the price.
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post #15 of 24 Old 01-06-2014, 10:19 PM
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Firstly, it doesn't look like that Music Hall amp includes a bass management system, and right there is a significant potential source for audible problems ---> phase issues: the output of the BS22s and the subwoofer can overlap and very possibly accentuate, decrease, or plain cancel out certain frequencies (plus, I think the lack of distance compensation - something an A/V receiver always includes - can cause a similar issue). This is why I think so many music-oriented two channel purists on audiophile discussion boards don't like subwoofers i.e. many cannot get them dialed-in correctly because of the lack of b.m. systems on most "audiophile" equipment. I wrote about this here.

Also: I'm not a musician or sound engineer, but according to this interactive musical instrument chart and some of the posts here in this discussion concerning a bass guitar's frequency range, my gut reaction to your situation is: you need more output. In other words, while those little BS-22s can reach low for their size (and btw I like those speakers' previous generation - I haven't heard the 22s though), IMO they don't produce enough bass for your needs. So personally I would switch to the floorstanders. And a slightly larger sub might help too.

Lastly, while I truly did like the previous-generation Pioneers - my own 90s-era Advents exhibit a very similar sound - they did have a rather warm & soft-ish sound quality & if the newer generation is similar that quality may not totally be to your liking. And I've never heard that Pioneer sub, but to my ears most subs I've heard are better at reproducing a movie's explosions and warp-drive effects but don't do as well with music (btw HT playback quality is secondary to me). For me I've found sealed models usually sound best for music playback, though they are relatively difficult to find. NHT makes them for example.
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post #16 of 24 Old 01-07-2014, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, I've done some, "critical", listening with the bookshelfs only and I've made a few observations...

The first, is that when cranked up, the bookshelfs alone give me more than enough low end. But I still find a bit of a gap in the mid to high bass, so I don't think it was a matter of my subwoofer overlapping with my bookshelfs.

The second, is that at lower volumes, the listening experience is quite dissatisfying. I don't know if i'm just expecting too much, or if this is an absolutely normal thing that I should be thankful for (because it means they're good speakers or something?), but the bass drops out quite a bit and starts sounding pretty canned. This is not too big an issue, because it sounds good at higher volumes, but i'm just wondering why this is.

My bigger issue is my first observation, which isn't entirely out of line with my initial gripe, but I kind of thought that the low end bass would almost drop out completely, but it seems that that is not the case. I am leaning more and more toward just pulling the trigger on returning the bookshelfs and getting the floorstanding model, because i believe that they may deliver that fuller range. As long as I don't lose/don't lose too much high end clarity, i'd be completely satisfied, provided they fill in that mid-to-upper bass void that i have right now.

Plus, since an extra $100 isn't much of a budgetary constraint for me, i think it's the right way to go

thanks for chiming in, everybody.


i hope i'm not opening a can of worms, but...are there any other speakers i should consider at this price point?
I went with the Pioneers because of the rave reviews everyone was giving them, and the added cache that a guy like Andrew Jones brings by designing for its non-boutique counterpart. I just feel like I can trust a guy like him to put good features into a speaker, more than I trust myself to choose the right speaker.
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post #17 of 24 Old 01-08-2014, 11:38 AM
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For $200 a pair there is a limited market speaker market for floor standers. If you are by a Frys electronics, might want to see if they have and Infinity Primus P363's towers, they were on sale for $107 per tower and a great deal. Infinity Primus P163's are great bookshelves too look at too.

If you can get the Floorstanders and demo them in your home thats the route I would go. If they still aren't too your liking than you might want to look at other speakers.
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post #18 of 24 Old 01-08-2014, 11:45 AM
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For better bass response - I would look at the Cambridge S70 towers, or
the S30 bookshelf speaker. Cambridge has good bass punch.
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/CAMBS70OAK/CAMBRIDGE-AUDIO-S70-5-3-way-Floorstanding-Speakers-Each-Dark-Oak/1.html

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/CAMBS30OAK/CAMBRIDGE-AUDIO-S30-4-2-way-Bookshelf-Speakers-Pair-Dark-Oak/1.html

Pioneer is decent - however there is only so much they can give - budget
friendly is what it is. The Pioneer towers will give you more bass >> how-
ever for all around music, I prefer the BS22 bookshelf.

Also, the Infinity Primus may be to your liking

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post #19 of 24 Old 01-08-2014, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikejungle View Post

The first, is that when cranked up, the bookshelfs alone give me more than enough low end. But I still find a bit of a gap in the mid to high bass, so I don't think it was a matter of my subwoofer overlapping with my bookshelfs.

That's probably the room and/or positioning, as the BS22s don't exhibit drastic dips in response. You can try moving them around (proximity to walls or corners means more bass), moving reflective or absorptive objects in the room, adding absorbing panels, etc. Unless you can EQ around the bumps, they will be there with any speaker.
Quote:
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The second, is that at lower volumes, the listening experience is quite dissatisfying. I don't know if i'm just expecting too much, or if this is an absolutely normal thing that I should be thankful for (because it means they're good speakers or something?), but the bass drops out quite a bit and starts sounding pretty canned. This is not too big an issue, because it sounds good at higher volumes, but i'm just wondering why this is.

Normal. Most consumer audio gear will have features to work with this, but it's a fact of biology/physics.
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post #20 of 24 Old 01-08-2014, 12:59 PM
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The second, is that at lower volumes, the listening experience is quite dissatisfying. I don't know if I'm just expecting too much, or if this is an absolutely normal thing that I should be thankful for (because it means they're good speakers or something?), but the bass drops out quite a bit and starts sounding pretty canned. This is not too big an issue, because it sounds good at higher volumes, but i'm just wondering why this is.
If "canned" means lacking bass, I am 99% sure you're experiencing what everyone experiences at low volumes: the Fletcher-Munson effect or equal-loudness curve scenario. Simply put, your ears are less sensitive to the lower bass notes (and higher treble) at lower volume settings. This is why you see so many people have their graphic EQs set to the so-called "smiley-face" curve.

FYI: this is why so many older receivers, and thankfully more and more newer receivers, include switchable loudness compensation systems to (mostly) counteract this effect.

So, your Pioneers - and your ears smile.gif - are operating correctly as far as I can tell.
Quote:
As long as I don't lose/don't lose too much high end clarity, i'd be completely satisfied, provided they fill in that mid-to-upper bass void that i have right now.
Since the towers seem to use the same tweeter and were designed by the same engineer, the only reason they might seem to have less clarity is that since the towers produce more (& lower) bass, this gives the perception the towers produce a lower level of higher frequencies. I.e. this is one of those relative situations. smile.gif BTW personally this is why I think so many picky audiophiles think floorstanders and larger speakers in general are not as precise and "accurate" as small bookshelf models, not to mention they may not be positioning those larger speakers well enough to eliminate boominess and/or an over-production of bass.

I also give a thumbs up to the Primus line - not quite as warm as the Pioneers to me but still smooth and easy to listen to (compared to all those speakers out there that IMO are voiced primarily to better reproduce a movie's voices & sound effects i.e. an overall analytical/"crispy" sonic character). A 2-way speaker with a 6.5" woofer, like the Primus 163 crazyrob mentioned, is one of my favorite speaker configurations: they can usually produce very good bass for small-to-medium sized rooms and still have clean/realistic midrange output, all without a separate midrange driver. And if paired with a subwoofer, IMO can usually easily handle the "standard" 80Hz crossover point.
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post #21 of 24 Old 01-09-2014, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
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man, i'm tearing my hair out over whether I should return these to try better used speakers. The biggest misgiving i have about this, is that I can't return any other speakers. Same for online ordering; unless I try them out, I'd rather pass up good deals than risk it.

btw, i feel i may have used some terms incorrectly...looking at that interactive frequency chart, it seems that plucked notes hit much higher on the range, even if they were on a lower string. Is this correct?
And if this is, is it correct to assume that the growl that is exhibited by a slapped note falls in the midrange and not bass?

If I'm correct about these, then I think what I'm missing in these speakers is the midrange. Although I've heard some people say that this speaker lacks midrange, more people have said that these speakers fill out the midrange quite nicely. Is it possible that my placement of the speakers is somehow affecting only the midrange?
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post #22 of 24 Old 01-09-2014, 03:51 PM
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The BS22 has nice detail in the midrange for its price - however, it is lacking in good definition
There is only so much resolution, coming from the Pioneer. > There is only so much that the
Pioneer drivers can give. The Pioneer is good for the price >>> however it is still, with in the
budget friendly cell group.

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post #23 of 24 Old 01-09-2014, 05:33 PM
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There are some online speaker companies that allow you a in home 30-day trial of their product. But they aren't really in your budget of $200.

But for $298 + $32shipping you can try the Ascend CBM-170 SE http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages/products/speakers/cbm170/cbm170.html

They come with a 30-day in home guarantee too. These speakers are very highly rated by all that have experienced them. Only thing you will really lose in the process is your intial $32 shipping fee to you, as they will pay the return shipping

Home Theater Direct is another online company offering risk free in home trials of their speakers
http://www.htd.com/?gclid=CJ2R9YO78rsCFSUOOgoda28A_g

I am sure their are more companies that do that but they are worth checking out.
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post #24 of 24 Old 02-28-2014, 03:01 PM
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I just set up the BS22 with Dayton APA150 amp.

Not sure if I need a sub.

Considering this is a "budget" setup, I'm not sure if I should spend too much on a sub.

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