Help in first big-boy speaker purchase...$350-$500 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 03-15-2014, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Currently have some KEF Coda 7's on loan from a friend.  This loan is being called and I will need to finally buy my own speakers.  Set up will be Pro-Ject Debut Carbon>Marantz 1060>????? Looking to spend not much more than $350-500. New or Used is still up in the air.

 

  1. Budget: $350-$500
  2. What are you looking for: Bookshelf, "entry-level audiophile"
  3. How will you typically be using the gear: Bedroom, near-field
  4. What gear do you own: Project Debut Carbon>Marantz 1060
  5. What do you intend on using for a source: Turntable
  6. What material will you be using your gear for: Electronic, 70's disco/kraut/rock
  7. Are you willing to buy used? Will go either way but Yes. Looking for value mostly

 

I dont know a ton about speakers, as this is the first time I have bought any myself.  I am hoping you guys could help me understand the characteristics of the KEF Coda 7's, and steer me in the direction of something that will be a moderate upgrade from those.  

 

Here are the specs of the KEF's:

Type: Two way bass-reflex
Frequency response: 48Hz to 20kHz
Power handling: 70W
Sensitivity: 91dB
Impedance: 6 Ohms

 

I want something "fun", but not overly colored.  I listen to mostly electronic, so bass is important, but I dont want the speaker to be pigeonholed into a certain genre or sound.  Relative value is also very important. What are some (arguably) good value and bad value brands/models?

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post #2 of 35 Old 03-15-2014, 08:55 PM
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If you're looking to buy bookshelf speakers like the Kef Coda 7's you're going to also need a subwoofer. Especially since you like electronic music. No bookshelf speaker in a 2.0 configuration will produce adequate bass for electronic music.
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post #3 of 35 Old 03-15-2014, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post

If you're looking to buy bookshelf speakers like the Kef Coda 7's you're going to also need a subwoofer. Especially since you like electronic music. No bookshelf speaker in a 2.0 configuration will produce adequate bass for electronic music.

I do have an unused subwoofer.  My set up is in my bedroom (near field listening) and I share walls with neighbors.  At this point, EQ and Loudness have been sufficient if I need a little bass-boost.  Should my setup move to a larger space I will bust out the sub.  Thanks for the input.

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post #4 of 35 Old 03-15-2014, 09:08 PM
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Monitor Audio Silver RX-1 > Rosenut and Walnut is left > and free shipping
http://www.saturdayaudio.com/picturepages/monitor_special.htm

KEF Coda 7, is budget entry level and cheaply built with thin cabinets. They
received mixed reviews.

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post #5 of 35 Old 03-15-2014, 09:13 PM
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You're missing my point. Having a subwoofer in the system is not about volume. With the bookshelf speakers you currently have boosting bass with the EQ doesn't really work because the speakers can't produce a lot of the lower frequencies that your music contains. If you don't mind some missing bass frequencies in your music then just use the bookshelf speakers in a 2.0 configuration.
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post #6 of 35 Old 03-15-2014, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post

You're missing my point. Having a subwoofer in the system is not about volume. With the bookshelf speakers you currently have boosting bass with the EQ doesn't really work because the speakers can't produce a lot of the lower frequencies that your music contains. If you don't mind some missing bass frequencies in your music then just use the bookshelf speakers in a 2.0 configuration.

Hmm...might have to hook it up tomorrow and check it out.  Can I hook it straight up to the Marantz? Sorry don't know much about subs>vintage audio.

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post #7 of 35 Old 03-15-2014, 10:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

Monitor Audio Silver RX-1 > Rosenut and Walnut is left > and free shipping
http://www.saturdayaudio.com/picturepages/monitor_special.htm

KEF Coda 7, is budget entry level and cheaply built with thin cabinets. They
received mixed reviews.

Looks like the online version of a White Van.  

 

So are oyu saying that in the $350-500 price range I wont have a hard time beating the KEF's? I do really like them, but havent heard anything else on my current set-up.

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post #8 of 35 Old 03-15-2014, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by hazertag View Post

Hmm...might have to hook it up tomorrow and check it out.  

My set up is in my bedroom (near field listening) and I share walls with neighbors.
Hook it up and see/find what your neighbors think - who share the wall with you.
It should be interesting.

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post #9 of 35 Old 03-16-2014, 07:57 AM
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Monitor Audio speakers look like the online white van speakers? LoL HAHAHAHAHAHA! biggrin.gif Yeah they aren't.

Some speakers to check out though
-Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 SE's
-Ascend Acoustics CMB-170 SE's
-HTD Level THREE Bookshelves

You can try those speakers in your home for a period of time.
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post #10 of 35 Old 03-16-2014, 08:05 AM
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The KEF Q100 and Q300 are good speakers; the C3 is really bad, which is unusual for KEF.

For $550 you can get the Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 speakers; very very good!

You may laugh, but for $40 you can get the Dayton B652 speakers at Parts Express.

They are probably better than anything else you can get for much under $250. They are absolutely amazing for their low price.

I bought a pair for my den to replace some Boston Audio speakers that cost a lot more, and they are pretty good speakers.

Try them and see.
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post #11 of 35 Old 03-16-2014, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazertag View Post

Hmm...might have to hook it up tomorrow and check it out.  Can I hook it straight up to the Marantz? Sorry don't know much about subs>vintage audio.

What make/model is your sub?

Also, I can second the Ascend Acoustics recommendations. smile.gif

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post #12 of 35 Old 03-16-2014, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by crazyrob425 View Post

Monitor Audio speakers look like the online white van speakers? LoL HAHAHAHAHAHA! biggrin.gif Yeah they aren't.
 

Haha no, just the website itself looks somewhat suspect. Speakers look great.

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post #13 of 35 Old 03-16-2014, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys.  How is the (perceived) value on known brands like KEF Wharfedale, B&W versus some of the lesser known (to me) brands you guys are rec'ing like Ascend Acousitcs and HDT?

 

I guess I'm kind of looking for the speaker to speakers that the Pro-Ject Carbon is to turntables...if that makes sense.  Solid audiophile performance at an 'entry level' price point.  

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post #14 of 35 Old 03-16-2014, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazertag View Post

Looks like the online version of a White Van.  

So are oyu saying that in the $350-500 price range I wont have a hard time beating the KEF's? I do really like them, but havent heard anything else on my current set-up.

You need to clean your speaker eye glasses - Monitor Audio Silver is not White Van - they are one of
the more respected speaker companies out there.

If I did not feel/believe that they were better than the Coda - then I would not have recommended them.
They have good resolution, with good detail, definition and depth - and some nice/good bass.

If you want a lower level KEF like the Coda - then buy the C series KEF.

You asked for a higher end speaker, and I recommended it

Saturday Audio is an established local company in Chicago - who promotes on the web.

You want to see another company - (under search type) Monitor Audio Silver
http://www.audioadvisor.com/searchprods.asp

Your call - have fun.

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post #15 of 35 Old 03-16-2014, 11:07 AM
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So many speaker brands to check out so get out and listen to as many as possible. Kef, PSB, Paradigm, and Monitor Audio are some of my favorite storefront brands, but don't forget ID brands like Ascend, Axiom, and Aperion. All these speakers have a personality so it comes down to what you like. Do you like smooth or edgy, forward or laid back, etc. No right or wrong here.
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post #16 of 35 Old 03-16-2014, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazertag View Post

Looks like the online version of a White Van.  
You already said you don't know anything, no need to prove it over and over.
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post #17 of 35 Old 03-16-2014, 11:52 AM
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You guys are way to sensitive - Hazertag is asking for advice and you ridicule him for asking questions and making associations to what he is familiar. Educate without the arrogance please. :)

 

Okay, Formalities aside, take rnatalli's suggestion and go listen to all the speakers you can. If they are available, visit stores around you and bring music with which you are very familiar. Bring CDs (not mp3s or other compressed formats. Do not even use your PDA's audio out). If you are visiting a store with phonographs, it might make sense to bring in your favorite vinyl - this gets really tricky though depending on the player and preamp setup at the store. Regardless, let the person know you brought in music and you are going to be there a while. Visit many stores including local electronics, hi-fi, and pro audio. Spend time, go back multiple times if needed - I spent upwards of 12 hours over three visits auditioning one of my studio setups. If you purchase used and not able to audition and physically inspect them, make sure the drivers are all in good shape and all binding posts/connectivity are solid - a return policy is best.

 

The key is, listen. And trust you ears. Everyone has a particular preference and every person's ear is different.

 

-BB

 

PS - so...putting things like "big-boy" in the title of your post sets yourself up for some flack. ("first big-boy" to many people in this forum means $2000-$5000, and big-boy means $5000+). I am not saying not to do it, but just know if you do, you paint a target on your back.

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post #18 of 35 Old 03-16-2014, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazertag View Post

Thanks for the input guys.  How is the (perceived) value on known brands like KEF Wharfedale, B&W versus some of the lesser known (to me) brands you guys are rec'ing like Ascend Acousitcs and HDT?

I have Ascends, and they are great speakers. They are an Internet direct brand, so they are able to sell at better prices than store brands which have to build in profit for a middleman.

Meanwhile, to repeat, what make/model sub do you have?

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post #19 of 35 Old 03-16-2014, 06:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BoogerBrains View Post
 

You guys are way to sensitive - Hazertag is asking for advice and you ridicule him for asking questions and making associations to what he is familiar. Educate without the arrogance please. :)

 

PS - so...putting things like "big-boy" in the title of your post sets yourself up for some flack. ("first big-boy" to many people in this forum means $2000-$5000, and big-boy means $5000+). I am not saying not to do it, but just know if you do, you paint a target on your back.

 

 

Thanks Boog.  I'm fairly young and have been in various internet forums for years, I know what theyre like.  I have developed a thick e-skin, and hey "any press is good press", right?!

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post #20 of 35 Old 03-16-2014, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Meanwhile, to repeat, what make/model sub do you have?

 

Just dug it out, its a TRUAUDIO CS-8 Powered sub.  Hoping since its 'powered' that means I can hook it up direct to the Marantz 1060...!?

 

Here are the specs, as taken form an eBay auction:

 

  • Speaker Type: Powered Subwoofer
  • Enclosure design: Front Firing Slot-loaded Driver: 8" cellulose composite
  • Power: 100 watt RMS internal amplifier
  • Frequency Response: 35 - 180 Hz (-+3dB)
  • Sensitivity: 108 db SPL @ 1meter
  • Crossover: 60-180 Hz continuously variable low pass
  • Input 1: Stereo RCA line level Input 2: LFE RCA Input 3: Speaker-level w/ banana posts
  • Finish dimensions: 13” H, 12” W, 13 ½” D
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post #21 of 35 Old 03-16-2014, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by hazertag View Post

Just dug it out, its a TRUAUDIO CS-8 Powered sub.  Hoping since its 'powered' that means I can hook it up direct to the Marantz 1060...!?

Here are the specs, as taken form an eBay auction:
  • Speaker Type: Powered Subwoofer
  • Enclosure design: Front Firing Slot-loaded Driver: 8" cellulose composite
  • Power: 100 watt RMS internal amplifier
  • Frequency Response: 35 - 180 Hz (-+3dB)
  • Sensitivity: 108 db SPL @ 1meter
  • Crossover: 60-180 Hz continuously variable low pass
  • Input 1: Stereo RCA line level Input 2: LFE RCA Input 3: Speaker-level w/ banana posts
  • Finish dimensions: 13” H, 12” W, 13 ½” D

You could hook it up one of two ways:

1) Connect the speaker level inputs on the sub to the remote speaker outputs on your amp.
2) Split the "Pre Out" on your amp and run it to both the sub and the main-in on the amp.

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post #22 of 35 Old 03-16-2014, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
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You could hook it up one of two ways:

1) Connect the speaker level inputs on the sub to the remote speaker outputs on your amp.
2) Split the "Pre Out" on your amp and run it to both the sub and the main-in on the amp.

OK, so let me get these straight:

 

1) I would use normal speaker wire, hook it into the "Remote L/R" cable posts on the amp and then into the "Speaker In L/R" on the sub

2) Use RCA wire to go "Line In" from the Sub to...?

 

I have extra RCA cables on me right now, but I dont think I have any speaker wire lying around.

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post #23 of 35 Old 03-16-2014, 07:30 PM
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1) Yes. You just need speaker wire.
2) you would need to unhook the existing connection between the main-in and the pre-amp out, get a splitter, and the run the pre-out to both the RCA inputs on the sub and the main-in. What that does is split the pre-amp output from the receiver to run back into the receiver's amp and to the sub's amp.
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post #24 of 35 Old 03-18-2014, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Hooked up the sub using regular ole speaker wire.  Wow, it really isnt about bass VOLUME, as much as filling in the low end.  Awesome.  

 

Back to the speakers...Someone posted some Monitor Audio RX-1's on CL near me...http://denver.craigslist.org/eld/4380608470.html

 

Thinking about checking them out.  They want $450.  I will tell them I can get them for $499 online new, and likely less than $400 used.

 

What would you guys pay for them assuming they are in NM physical/electrical condition? Aiming for $375...realistic?

 

edit: spelling

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post #25 of 35 Old 03-18-2014, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazertag View Post

Back to the speakers...Someone posted some Monitor Audio RX-1's on CL near me...http://denver.craigslist.org/eld/4380608470.html

Thinking about checking them out.  They want $450.  I will tell them I can get them for $499 online new, and likely less than $400 used.

What would you guys pay for them assuming they are in NM physical/electrical condition? Aiming for $375...realistic?

If you are fortunate, you may get them for around $400 - they look to be in top shape.
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post #26 of 35 Old 03-18-2014, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazertag View Post

Hooked up the sub using regular ole speaker wire.  Wow, it really isnt about bass VOLUME, as much as filling in the low end.  Awesome.  

Great! You already got it hooked up.

For electronic music, I bet it gives you some nice presence to the songs that you didn't have before smile.gif

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post #27 of 35 Old 03-18-2014, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazertag View Post

Hooked up the sub using regular ole speaker wire.  Wow, it really isnt about bass VOLUME, as much as filling in the low end.  Awesome.  

Back to the speakers...Someone posted some Monitor Audio RX-1's on CL near me...http://denver.craigslist.org/eld/4380608470.html

Thinking about checking them out.  They want $450.  I will tell them I can get them for $499 online new, and likely less than $400 used.

What would you guys pay for them assuming they are in NM physical/electrical condition? Aiming for $375...realistic?

edit: spelling

That's what I was trying to inform you about at the beginning of the thread. I'm glad you figured out what I meant about bass and a properly calibrated subwoofer filling in the bottom end.smile.gif
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post #28 of 35 Old 03-19-2014, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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So the speakers are "used demo" speakers from a dealer of sorts.  Going to look on Saturday most likely.

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post #29 of 35 Old 03-21-2014, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

1) Yes. You just need speaker wire.
2) you would need to unhook the existing connection between the main-in and the pre-amp out, get a splitter, and the run the pre-out to both the RCA inputs on the sub and the main-in. What that does is split the pre-amp output from the receiver to run back into the receiver's amp and to the sub's amp.

 

If someone could explain like I'm five, what the difference is here.  I assume it simply has to do with power levels etc, but are there any real benefits or situation where one would be better than the other?  Is it harder on my amp doing it one way versus the other?

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post #30 of 35 Old 03-21-2014, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by hazertag View Post

If someone could explain like I'm five, what the difference is here.  I assume it simply has to do with power levels etc, but are there any real benefits or situation where one would be better than the other?  Is it harder on my amp doing it one way versus the other?
What AMP/Receiver do you have? Is its the old Marantz 1060 you mentioned above?

The different between the two methods of hooking up depends on the receiver you have, and whether is has a subwoofer pre-out or regular pre-out in general or not. If your receiver has a subwoofer pre-out(and 99% of todays modern receivers have them) its is the easiest way to hook up a subwoofer. Just take an RCA from the LFE port on the subwoofer amp to the subwoofer pre-out in the back of the receiver. And then all you got to do from there go into the receiver menu and fiddle with some settings.

There is no real benefit in terms of sound either way you hook it up. The best and easiest way is the way recommended with the RCA cable from pre-out to Subwoofer amp. If you go about this using speaker wire its more of a pain. Go to Wal-Mart and pick up an RCA to RCA stereo audio cable.

So in your case you are just going to take a simple RCA cable (red and white) and go from amp's pre-out to subwoofer amp.
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