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post #1 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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What Speakers To Get? Noob Here

Hey Guys, I'm a noob to the HT world. I have a soundbar right now but I'm over the sound already. I do about 50% movies and 50% music. Yesterday I went to Frys to listen to a couple floorstanding speakers after reading some recommended threads. I wasn't really impressed with any, maybe it was how they were setup? All against a wall in a room probably not calibrated. I want more crisp (bright) tweeter sounds and they all sounded pretty dull. I tried the P363, the speakers were punched in probably from kids running in the store maybe that affected the sound. I also heard the Klipsch RF42 while there and they sounded decent at most. After reading reviews online I was expecting to get blown away by the sound I was going to hear but frankly my soundbar sounded better than what I experienced there. I know bose sucks and I wouldn't buy it but there presentation and sound was much better at the store, I can see how they sell a lot of equipment. Anyway, I come here to get your input on what I should get. As far as budget I would say about $1000 is fine, I have credit cards so I'm flexible. Also, for now I would need to start with a 3.0 or 3.1 because it seems like a mission to run cable from surrounds because my living room is kinda in the middle since I have an open concept house. I'm not sure if I should start with bookshelf speakers or floorstanding, I wouldn't be opposed to getting bookshelf speakers first and eventually moving them as surround. Your input would be great thank you in advance!
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post #2 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 02:27 PM
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If you're not going to get a sub right away, my preference would be to get towers. But if you plan on getting a sub now or soon then you can get bookshelf models to save some money.

There are some rather large bookshelf speakers that produce decent bass as well.

Def Tech SM55/65 (you should be able to listen to these at BB or BB w/Magnolia)

These- http://www.chanemusiccinema.com/chane-arx-loudspeakers

or these- http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...m/cmt340m.html

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...70/cbm170.html

If you plan on using a sub, figure in around $500 to get a good one, such as the SVS PB1000, Reaction Audio BP212, or the current Outlaw audio sub that is on sale for $500.

Klipsch RF-62II, RC-500, RS-400, SVS PC12+,
Def Tech SC8000
Harman Kardon AVR 1600
PS3, Apple TV, Sharp 70" Qattron
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post #3 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 02:36 PM
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Does that $1,000 only include speakers or speakers and sub? Or does it include speaker, receiver, and sub?
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post #4 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 03:18 PM
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I haven't been to Fry's in ages, so I cannot tell you if their sound rooms are nicely done and with wall treatments. Obviously, you had a problem. It's sometimes unfair to any speaker to be place in an environment that hasn't had sound engineers giving input to the design. Now on to your room….

It would be nice to know the volume of your room. From the pictures, it appears quite large and open to another room behind the couch. It really looks like an extremely nice area for people to enjoy get togethers. And since it's all tile floors, it's attractive and easy to clean. Why am I even talking about this? As nice is that room is, it is probably a sonic nightmare. I see very little to soften reflective sounds, and I think it would be a challenge for any speaker system. The best thing I can suggest is to audition different speakers in your home to see if they can manage the room's reflective acoustics.
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post #5 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Warner2Bruce View Post
Does that $1,000 only include speakers or speakers and sub? Or does it include speaker, receiver, and sub?
The $1000 is only for speakers, I'll be ordering the Denon E300 or E400 one of these days. I'll get the subs a couple months down the line, just want to start with something for now.
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post #6 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I haven't been to Fry's in ages, so I cannot tell you if their sound rooms are nicely done and with wall treatments. Obviously, you had a problem. It's sometimes unfair to any speaker to be place in an environment that hasn't had sound engineers giving input to the design. Now on to your room….

It would be nice to know the volume of your room. From the pictures, it appears quite large and open to another room behind the couch. It really looks like an extremely nice area for people to enjoy get togethers. And since it's all tile floors, it's attractive and easy to clean. Why am I even talking about this? As nice is that room is, it is probably a sonic nightmare. I see very little to soften reflective sounds, and I think it would be a challenge for any speaker system. The best thing I can suggest is to audition different speakers in your home to see if they can manage the room's reflective acoustics.
The room is probably about 20 x 17 (estimate) and it opens to the dining room which is about 8x8 and next to that is the kitchen. I guess I wouldn't be able to "fill" the room since its not enclosed but I would like good sound when sitting on the couch watching a movie and get good stereo sound when entertaining in the kitchen. I don't want the sound mind-blowing where we can listen to each other talk, just something that sounds nice and you can hear each instrument clearly.
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post #7 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 04:33 PM
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Both the Klipsch and Infinitys will vastly outperform any soundbar or Bose system that I know of. Whether you prefer that sound is a personal preference, of course.

The 3.1 $1k system I would get is:
Infinity Primus p163 bookshelf speakers
Infinity Primus c351
Outlaw Audio LFM-1 EX

Don't wait long to pull the trigger on that sub though, that sale will end soon, and it is easily the best bang-for-the-buck subwoofer when on sale.
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post #8 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Both the Klipsch and Infinitys will vastly outperform any soundbar or Bose system that I know of. Whether you prefer that sound is a personal preference, of course.

The 3.1 $1k system I would get is:
Infinity Primus p163 bookshelf speakers
Infinity Primus c351
Outlaw Audio LFM-1 EX

Don't wait long to pull the trigger on that sub though, that sale will end soon, and it is easily the best bang-for-the-buck subwoofer when on sale.

For the price difference between these and the Ascend's, would the Ascends put up a lot better sound or are they pretty even?
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post #9 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 05:21 PM
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drivermacias: Assuming 8-foot ceilings, your room and the dining/kitchen area behind it makes a total volume of a large room volume (3,000 - 5,000 cu. ft). Add in all the hard surfaces, and I'm not sure how any speaker system will perform. While only you can be the judge, I would think about adding some larger rugs to help stop some of the reflectivity if you find out it's a problem.

BTW, the reason I'm concerned is because my girlfriend's son had his entire house flooring done with tile (war vet and needed wheelchair access throughout). It's an echo chamber and not conducive for good sound.
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post #10 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 05:28 PM
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I suspect the Ascends would be slightly better. However, the Primus bookshelf speakers can be had for significantly cheaper, at $86 for the bookshelf speakers and $200 for the beefy center channel. With the Primus speakers, you have a lot more space in your budget for a subwoofer, and in a room of the size of yours, right now with Outlaw's sale makes that deal a great choice for you. In a few days the Outlaw will go back up to ~$750 shipped. The Primus speakers are a tremendous value.
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post #11 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
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drivermacias: Assuming 8-foot ceilings, your room and the dining/kitchen area behind it makes a total volume of a large room volume (3,000 - 5,000 cu. ft). Add in all the hard surfaces, and I'm not sure how any speaker system will perform. While only you can be the judge, I would think about adding some larger rugs to help stop some of the reflectivity if you find out it's a problem.

BTW, the reason I'm concerned is because my girlfriend's son had his entire house flooring done with tile (war vet and needed wheelchair access throughout). It's an echo chamber and not conducive for good sound.

Thanks for the info, I do have small area rug but I will probably be getting a bigger one for the sound reflecting. I'm also going to add a rug under the kitchen table. I wonder if the couch helps to suck up some of the reflecting couch since its front and center. Although the sound doesn't compare, my sound bar when played at a loud volume doesn't reflect much from what I can hear. I might even put up some soundboards and wrap them in fabric if needed since my walls are bare. I'm guessing the living room, dining and kitchen is about 750 square feet and the ceilings are 8 ft. The whole area doesn't need to be filled with sound, mostly the living room which is probably 300 square feet. I don't know if its possible to fill an open room
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post #12 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I suspect the Ascends would be slightly better. However, the Primus bookshelf speakers can be had for significantly cheaper, at $86 for the bookshelf speakers and $200 for the beefy center channel. With the Primus speakers, you have a lot more space in your budget for a subwoofer, and in a room of the size of yours, right now with Outlaw's sale makes that deal a great choice for you. In a few days the Outlaw will go back up to ~$750 shipped. The Primus speakers are a tremendous value.

Thanks for the info, almost ready to pull the trigger, as for the sub, I see the PB-1000 is recommended a lot. I figured the PB-1000 is a good started sub that's why is recommended a lot and I'm assuming the Outlaw is another lever above the PB-1000. Am I correct? Haven't seen a lot of people recommending the Outlaw and it might be cuz of the price?
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post #13 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 06:04 PM
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Yes, your couch will certainly help. It's good to hear that your soundbar's sound isn't reflecting noticeably, so perhaps you may not have as big as problem as I thought you would.

Your size area will be a workout for anything you may purchase, but there isn't a big reason not to have quality sound at the listening position now that you know some of the caveats. You've been given some good advice on speakers and the subwoofer. Out of the speakers listed, I've only auditioned the Def Tech SM-55 and SM-65 and I was pleasantly surprised, especially with the SM-55. The Outlaw sub was highly rated by Josh Ricci and should provide you with what you need.

Best of luck.
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post #14 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 06:39 PM
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Thanks for the info, almost ready to pull the trigger, as for the sub, I see the PB-1000 is recommended a lot. I figured the PB-1000 is a good started sub that's why is recommended a lot and I'm assuming the Outlaw is another lever above the PB-1000. Am I correct? Haven't seen a lot of people recommending the Outlaw and it might be cuz of the price?
The Outlaw is very much on another level. Here are some sweeps taken from third party measurements from both subs:




The Outlaw is more than twice as powerful, plus it can dig a lot deeper.
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post #15 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 07:24 PM
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I suspect the Ascends would be slightly better. However, the Primus bookshelf speakers can be had for significantly cheaper, at $86 for the bookshelf speakers and $200 for the beefy center channel. With the Primus speakers, you have a lot more space in your budget for a subwoofer, and in a room of the size of yours, right now with Outlaw's sale makes that deal a great choice for you. In a few days the Outlaw will go back up to ~$750 shipped. The Primus speakers are a tremendous value.
Are the Infinity's really better than the AJ Pioneers, which can also be had much cheaper? I seem to remember reading over at the audioholics forum that the Pioneers were considered better. But, I could have been mistaken I suppose.
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post #16 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 07:47 PM
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Not sure how it compares to the PB1000, but this Outlaw sub is also apparently on sale:

http://outlawaudio.com/products/lfm1plus.html
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post #17 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 07:54 PM
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Are the Infinity's really better than the AJ Pioneers, which can also be had much cheaper? I seem to remember reading over at the audioholics forum that the Pioneers were considered better. But, I could have been mistaken I suppose.
Depends on who you ask - and what you are looking for.

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Speakers > MB Quart VS05, Boston VS260, Snell K7
Subwoofer > Mordaunt Short Aviano 7
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post #18 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 08:15 PM
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As a speaker engineer, let me say there are a lot of great speakers…that all sound different! Makes it tough, huh? And it is indeed difficult to tell what they sound like at Fry's as opposed to your room.

I think you should pop for the Outlaw sub. Fewer reviews because it is a less well known brand, but I'd say quite established by now. Hsu Research is another perennial fave as is SVS.

The for the speakers, I have a contrary view. In your setup, I'd buy 2 bookshelf speakers and I guess you need stands. Then when I had a bit more money, I'd get a 3rd identical one and set it on top of the cabinet under the TV. Sideways center channels need not apply! (They have off-axis sideways response problems due to phase changes. Those models with 2 woofers flanking a tweeter just exist because of price and because consumers are used to it, NOT due to any good acoustic characteristic. There are a few center channels with a midrange below the tweeter; those should be fine but more $$$$).

I've always liked NHT products, you can look at http://www.audioadvisor.com/Bookshel...s/products/49/ or http://www.crutchfield.com/g_37900/B...-Speakers.html among others. Check the return policies! You can also look at "home theater speakers" instead of "bookshelf"

The Infinity Primus are a good value, but limited. I highly recommend moving up to something with a 6" woofer and a 1" dome tweeter (not the tiny "balanced dome" like in the Primus). That will give you MUCH better sound than the cheaper stuff. So start with 2 speakers and upgrade later.

The speakers will last longer than you stay in your house, most likely, so it is actually smart to spend more. At these lower price levels, more money really does get you better sound.

Actually, let me reverse myself a bit. Get a really really good set of bookshelves. Spend your current money on that. You'll still want the low bass and eventually will upgrade to the sub. If you split part of the money to the sub and get lesser bookshelves, there is a very very common tendency to just settle for that and never upgrade at all.
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post #19 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 08:21 PM
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Are the Infinity's really better than the AJ Pioneers, which can also be had much cheaper? I seem to remember reading over at the audioholics forum that the Pioneers were considered better. But, I could have been mistaken I suppose.
The Pioneers are a bit more laid back. Some people prefer one, some people prefer the other. I would swing for the Infinitys for the heavy duty center channel they have in the c351, it is a very good center speaker for the price.
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post #20 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 08:52 PM
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The $1000 is only for speakers, I'll be ordering the Denon E300 or E400 one of these days. I'll get the subs a couple months down the line, just want to start with something for now.
Hi,

If you're looking to purchase bookshelf speakers, and are ok with purchasing the sub and amp/receiver later, why not pick up a pair of Definitive Technology Studio Monitor 65's or PSB Imagine B speakers? They're at just about the price point that you're looking to spend.
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post #21 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 09:06 PM
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I hate to recommend speakers to anyone because everybody likes their own interpretation of good sound. But I have been 100% satisfied with the JBL Studio 5 series, specifically the Studio 530, and in fact, I really enjoy the Pioneer BS-22's too, I have two pair of them. They both trump many other speakers. The JBL's by a considerably larger margin, but they cost quite a bit more too. They are however worth the cost difference.
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post #22 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

If you're looking to purchase bookshelf speakers, and are ok with purchasing the sub and amp/receiver later, why not pick up a pair of Definitive Technology Studio Monitor 65's or PSB Imagine B speakers? They're at just about the price point that you're looking to spend.

The Definitive look like very good construction/material. Would they need to be accompanied by a subwoofer at this price range?
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post #23 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I was highly recommended the KEF LS50 by a friend ($1500 a pair). He said with the pair and a sub its the best sound I'll get by far. Any thoughts?
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post #24 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 10:24 PM
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I was highly recommended the KEF LS50 by a friend ($1500 a pair). He said with the pair and a sub its the best sound I'll get by far. Any thoughts?
From what I understand, they are very good. I have never heard them, but from what I've read, if you have the cash, you probably wouldn't regret the purchase. I'd love to compare some to my JBL's, which to me are excellent and 1/3 the cost, to see if they live up to the reviews.
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post #25 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 10:27 PM - Thread Starter
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From what I understand, they are very good. I have never heard them, but from what I've read, if you have the cash, you probably wouldn't regret the purchase. I's love to compare some to my JBL's, which to me are excellent and 1/3 the cost, to see if they live up to the reviews.

Yea he has them in his home theater and he said he is blown away. He said they sound like $15000 speakers or more. I dunno, I guess even $50 speakers would be a big jump for me. I just don't want to spend money and in a year want to upgrade so I'd like to buy something good once. Luckily I have a commission job so my income is flexible. I guess I can bust my @$$ after buying these for a bit.
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post #26 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 10:37 PM
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I was highly recommended the KEF LS50 by a friend ($1500 a pair). He said with the pair and a sub its the best sound I'll get by far. Any thoughts?
The KEF are highly regarded, but they seem to need a lot of power to get the best out of them. If you are going to spend that much and are going to be powering them with an AVR I would look at the Sierra 2.

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...SRM2/srm2.html

There are a crazy amount of good speakers at that price point, though. Prepare to be overwhelmed lol.

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post #27 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
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The KEF are highly regarded, but they seem to need a lot of power to get the best out of them. If you are going to spend that much and are going to be powering them with an AVR I would look at the Sierra 2.

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...SRM2/srm2.html

There are a crazy amount of good speakers at that price point, though. Prepare to be overwhelmed lol.

Yea I'm going crazy with names that I can't even pronounce. I checked the Stereophile and the KEF were A rated up there with other $20000-$80000 speakers. Can they really be that good?
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post #28 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 10:52 PM
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Yea I'm going crazy with names that I can't even pronounce. I checked the Stereophile and the KEF were A rated up there with other $20-$80000 speakers. Can they really be that good?
Well, yes and no. I mean, some super high dollar speakers don't have the performance to justify their price, but those that do, should certainly out perform the Kef, but that is no slam against the Kef. I haven't heard any yet, but I'm sure there are a number of speakers that out perform my JBL Studio 530's, but I've never heard a speaker under 500 that even begins to compare, or even many over $500.

The Pioneer BS-22 is a ridiculously good speaker...at its price point, and even beyond, but it's not the end all be all of small speakers. It's very hard to suggest speakers to someone.
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post #29 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 10:53 PM
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+1 - I agree with that center channel speaker - I usually recommend Polk New Monitor speakers as their towers are a very good value, but with this amount of money to spend the Inifinity center is much better. This is the $1000 3.1 system I would recommend:

Infinity Primus PC351 Center channel speaker - $200
Infinity Primus 253BK Floor-standing speakers - $300/pr
SVS PB-1000 300 Watt DSP Controlled, 10" Ported Subwoofer - $499

If you could increase the budget $100, you could get these bigger towers to better match the center channel speaker and to get more sound to fill that large space better:

Infinity Primus P363 Floor-standing speakers - $400/pr

2-Ch (HT L/R): Oppo BDP-105 BD, Adcom GFP-750 pre, Bryston 10B Sub Xover, Bryston 4BSST2 / Paradigm Signature S4 v.2 (L/R), (2) SVS SB12-NSD (Subs)
Home Theater: Bryston 4BSST2 amp / Paradigm CC-590 (C), Outlaw 7700 amp / (4) Def Tech UIW-RSSII (LS/RS/LB/RB), Samsung 46” 3D LCD
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post #30 of 89 Old 07-16-2014, 10:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 89grand View Post
Well, yes and no. I mean, some super high dollar speakers don't have the performance to justify their price, but those that do, should certainly out perform the Kef, but that is no slam against the Kef. I haven't heard any yet, but I'm sure there are a number of speakers that out perform my JBL Studio 530's, but I've never heard a speaker under 500 that even begins to compare, or even many over $500.

The Pioneer BS-22 is a ridiculously good speaker...at its price point, and even beyond, but it's not the end all be all of small speakers. It's very hard to suggest speakers to someone.

Yea I know the selection is so crazy. Its like recommending the best water I guess ha. In your opinion, you think there would be a big or even a noticeable difference between the JBL Studio 530's and the KEF's? Enough to justify the $1000 price difference? At the JBL's price I can probably get a sub as well right now maybe even a center. I just don't want to regret down the line... $1000 is not much for say 10 years lasting speakers.
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