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post #1 of 110 Old 08-10-2014, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Budget speaker system recommendations?

I have a Yamaha RX-V661 receiver which produces 7.1 audio, and has preamp outputs for all the channels as well.

I'm wondering what sound system would be considered decent? I've had my eye on the Energy Micro system which is 5.1, and apparently has had good reviews.

Any suggestions? Should I go for individual speakers are a complete system? How much will I have to spend to get decent sound for movies and music also? I listen to a lot of music on this system as well.

Thanks
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post #2 of 110 Old 08-10-2014, 12:23 PM
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You can get a good system for $2000 - now is that near your budget?

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post #3 of 110 Old 08-10-2014, 03:10 PM
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Whats your budget?

do you need little satellites like the micros? Or can you get something larger like bookshelf speakers?

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post #4 of 110 Old 08-10-2014, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Any size speakers will work in my situation. Even floor standing ones. I'm not set on small speakers, though from a budget perspective most likely smaller are going to cost less.

$2000 is a little more than I was hoping to spend, I'm probably going to try to stay under 1k, if I could get by with a system for six or seven hundred that would be even better. Ultimately I'd like to get the most decent possible for the money. The Energy Micro speakers are only $350, but I suspect they will be less than optimal. Honestly though, I could spend $2k if it's worth it, depends on what I'm getting.

I think bookshelf speakers might be the smallest I'd want to go optimally, for front channel. Being I may spend a lot of time listening in 7ch stereo mode on the receiver, bigger speakers in the rear than needed may improve the overall sound for music. What would you recommend?

My music is purchased on cd and ripped to FLAC format (mp3's sound dismal to me, really). I'm picky about sound. I am planning to use my WD Live TV via HDMI to the receiver (digitally transmitted, I may go to optical if there is an incentive), to play my music over DLNA from a Plex server. I listen primarily to music that is pretty hard on speakers in my opinion, if you want to see my music collection I've accumulated it will be primarily what is in my Trance/Foreign playlist on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/user/NetTechie1.

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post #5 of 110 Old 08-10-2014, 04:08 PM
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Take a look at Hsu, as well. Good reviews.

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/speakerpkg.html
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post #6 of 110 Old 08-10-2014, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gecko85 View Post
Take a look at Hsu, as well. Good reviews.

http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/speakerpkg.html
This system looks good, but it would need a sub to sound optimal, correct?
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post #7 of 110 Old 08-10-2014, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetTechie View Post
This system looks good, but it would need a sub to sound optimal, correct?
Look at the Hybrid 2 speaker packages
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid2pkg.html
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post #8 of 110 Old 08-10-2014, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetTechie View Post
This system looks good, but it would need a sub to sound optimal, correct?
Ideally, but that's true of any bookshelf systems.

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post #9 of 110 Old 08-10-2014, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gecko85 View Post
Ideally, but that's true of any bookshelf systems.
So I could run these without a sub, and would sound ok evenso?
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post #10 of 110 Old 08-10-2014, 04:36 PM
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skip the Micros if you can get larger speakers. i have a set at my father's place in my old bedroom. they have to be crossed over at 150hz or higher which means more work for the subwoofer.

Plus they sound really thin because of the 2.5" driver for a woofer.

Get some bookshelf speakers with 5.25" or 6.5" woofers. With a budget of $1000 you can get a really nice setup.
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post #11 of 110 Old 08-10-2014, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetTechie View Post
So I could run these without a sub, and would sound ok evenso?
For your type of music - you would benefit with a subwoofer
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post #12 of 110 Old 08-10-2014, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Any sub in particular stand out as a good value?
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post #13 of 110 Old 08-10-2014, 05:31 PM
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post #14 of 110 Old 08-10-2014, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetTechie View Post
Any sub in particular stand out as a good value?
Did you see my link in post #7 where the sub is included in the package?

Here it is again - if budget is tight - then go 3.1 to start with
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid2pkg.html

They have a 30 day return policy
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post #15 of 110 Old 08-10-2014, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
Did you see my link in post #7 where the sub is included in the package?

Here it is again - if budget is tight - then go 3.1 to start with
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid2pkg.html

They have a 30 day return policy
Agreed. This seems a great selection for you. Good sub and good speakers.
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post #16 of 110 Old 08-10-2014, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
Did you see my link in post #7 where the sub is included in the package?

Here it is again - if budget is tight - then go 3.1 to start with
http://www.hsuresearch.com/products/hybrid2pkg.html

They have a 30 day return policy
Oops missed your post there, ok, cool yeah they have a wide line of subs, wasn't sure which to consider going with.
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post #17 of 110 Old 08-11-2014, 01:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by afrogt View Post
skip the Micros if you can get larger speakers. i have a set at my father's place in my old bedroom. they have to be crossed over at 150hz or higher which means more work for the subwoofer.

Plus they sound really thin because of the 2.5" driver for a woofer.

Get some bookshelf speakers with 5.25" or 6.5" woofers. With a budget of $1000 you can get a really nice setup.
Thanks for the input on the Energy micros. I've been really leaning away from doing a small system as I consider the fact that there is an empty sound to little speakers it seems (think 3 inch woofers). I want more of a full sound than little speakers produce.

Just coming back to doing a cheaper option than the HSU speakers, any thoughts on the Fluance AVHTB 5.1 system? It has no sub included, but the woofers are 6.5 inch on the front towers. I'm inclined to think it would sound richer with the bigger speakers than say the micros, considering it is in the same price range.

I want good sound, but if i could get by with a $300 option to start with I might consider it.

Another speaker system I spotted is the Onkyo SKS-HT540 which has 5 inch woofers, and does include a 10 inch sub, for again around $300. Any thoughts on this one as well?

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post #18 of 110 Old 08-11-2014, 01:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post
Agreed. This seems a great selection for you. Good sub and good speakers.
While I like this HSU option, I'd probably not be able to buy it all right away. I'd buy it piecewise, starting with front speakers, center channel, sub, then surrounds. I big investment overall, considering I was hoping to get the above for under $1k. Well worth the investment, but if I could get by with something cheaper...

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post #19 of 110 Old 08-11-2014, 01:36 AM
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You might look at EMP Tek E5Bi: They are $125 each, so 3 for the front stage will cost you $375. Here is a review by Andrew Robinson (he does dozens of reviews on all kinds of speakers): http://hometheaterreview.com/emp-tek...aker-reviewed/

For rears, the EMP Tek E3b are $125 for the pair. Total cost so far is $500. Check out their website on these two speaker groups. They offer a 30-day trial and free one-way shipping.

That leaves around $500 for a subwoofer. There are 3 I.D. companies that can fill that need at that price. They are Hsu, SVS and Reaction Audio (sadly, you missed a great sale from Outlaw Audio). Take a look at each company's $500 subs. Anyone of these would be a solid choice.
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post #20 of 110 Old 08-11-2014, 04:32 AM
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Seeing as this is mainly for music, why not stick with a good stereo system? I am not really a fan of using that all-channel stereo mode for music, I prefer just two good speakers reproducing music as it should be. If you have a lot of SACD or DVDA then it would be beneficial to have surround sound, but for now, start with a good 2.1 in my opinion.

I would recommend a sub like the SVS SB-1000 and a pair of bookshelves like the HTD Level Three. I find the ribbon tweeters sound great with music, and that sealed sub will blend well and fill in the low end in your music. Later on you can add a center and surrounds if you want, but this route gets you a better system initially.

If you wanted you could even just go 2.0 to star, a pair of Philharmonitors or Asend Sierra-1 would be an excellent choice and a nice step up in sound quality.
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post #21 of 110 Old 08-11-2014, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
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I like the idea of going the 2.0 route, and getting good quality. I've been considering this option too since before I posted here. What do you think of studio monitors like the Yamaha HS8 speakers? Those are around $700 a pair. Or maybe pick up a used pair of Yamaha NS-10M speakers? I saw a set on craigslist for $375 in like new condition supposedly. My amp has preamp outputs, so it would be possible to hook these up.
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post #22 of 110 Old 08-11-2014, 08:49 AM
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A few things about powered studio monitors:

1) You already have a receiver, whereas you will be paying again for amplification with the studio monitors.
2) Does your receiver have RCA outs for use with the monitors? If not, you will be limiting yourself to hooking up one source device. Does that source device have the necessary RCA outputs? Does it have volume control on the RCA out?
3) Most receivers do not have pre-outs for use for studio monitors to put together a 5.1 setup (does yours?). So it will get pretty pricey to change to 5.1 if you ever want to because you will need a much higher end receiver or a pre-processor.
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post #23 of 110 Old 08-11-2014, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetTechie View Post
I like the idea of going the 2.0 route, and getting good quality. I've been considering this option too since before I posted here. What do you think of studio monitors like the Yamaha HS8 speakers? Those are around $700 a pair. Or maybe pick up a used pair of Yamaha NS-10M speakers? I saw a set on craigslist for $375 in like new condition supposedly. My amp has preamp outputs, so it would be possible to hook these up.
I would go with passive speakers, as Cel mentioned it is harder to expand to surround sound, and you will get a better sounding passive speaker for $X than you will an active one.

Do you have a more concrete budget? I know you said under $1000, but it would help if you could narrow it down to what you are comfortable spending.

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post #24 of 110 Old 08-11-2014, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
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A few things about powered studio monitors:

1) You already have a receiver, whereas you will be paying again for amplification with the studio monitors.
2) Does your receiver have RCA outs for use with the monitors? If not, you will be limiting yourself to hooking up one source device. Does that source device have the necessary RCA outputs? Does it have volume control on the RCA out?
3) Most receivers do not have pre-outs for use for studio monitors to put together a 5.1 setup (does yours?). So it will get pretty pricey to change to 5.1 if you ever want to because you will need a much higher end receiver or a pre-processor.
From my first post: "and has preamp outputs for all the channels as well", they are in the form of RCA jacks, yes. I specifically purchased an amp with preamp outputs for all channels, as I was considering doing this before I got the receiver. When I say all channels, I mean there are 8 preamp outputs total.

I might add the amp is 90 watts per channel, RMS. Not really a powerful receiver, it may improve the sound having amplified speakers.

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post #25 of 110 Old 08-11-2014, 09:11 AM
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From my first post: "and has preamp outputs for all the channels as well", I might add they are in the form of RCA jacks, yes. I specifically purchased an amp with preamp outputs for all channels, as I was considering doing this before I got the receiver. When I say all channels, I mean there are 8 preamp outputs total.

I might add the amp is 90 watts per channel, RMS. Not really a powerful receiver, I may improve the sound having amplified speakers.
Sorry. I didn't review the whole thread again this morning.

So as long as you would have a wall outlet for each speaker, you could go this route. Also, many people don't go the studio monitor route because they cannot accommodate a vertical center channel, and studio monitor speaker lines often do not have a horizontal center.

And personally, I don't buy into the hype that studio monitors are necessarily better than passive speakers because of their active crossover construction. Crossovers are only one aspect of a speaker design which contributes to the overall sound quality.

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So as long as you would have a wall outlet for each speaker, you could go this route. Also, many people don't go the studio monitor route because they cannot accommodate a vertical center channel, and studio monitor speaker lines often do not have a horizontal center.
My particular situation allows me to hide the power wires easily, and I'd probably just add 3 prong extension cords to reach an outlet strip. Assuming it wont blow the breaker to do this, I think it would be ok to run them off one outlet.
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post #27 of 110 Old 08-11-2014, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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I found a pair of Mackie MR8mk2 monitors on craigslist used. Wonder how well monitors hold up over time?
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post #28 of 110 Old 08-11-2014, 09:37 AM
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I found a pair of Mackie MR8mk2 monitors on craigslist used. Wonder how well monitors hold up over time?
I had a pair of MR5 MK2 for my desktop. Bought a pair of NHT SuperZero 2.0 because they were on sale, and sold the Mackies as soon as I heard them. Compared to my NHTs, the Mackies had a muddy mid-range and not nearly the same detail. For your money I think you could do a lot better, and I still recommend going with passive speakers. I think you get more performance per dollar from passive speakers.

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post #29 of 110 Old 08-11-2014, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetTechie View Post
I have a Yamaha RX-V661 receiver which produces 7.1 audio, and has preamp outputs for all the channels as well.

I'm wondering what sound system would be considered decent? I've had my eye on the Energy Micro system which is 5.1, and apparently has had good reviews.

Any suggestions? Should I go for individual speakers are a complete system? How much will I have to spend to get decent sound for movies and music also? I listen to a lot of music on this system as well.

Thanks
I just installed the Energy Micro System along with the Yamaha RX-V477 and I think it sounds darn good. I don't know how big your room is but my room is small (13x11). Small form factor and price point was important for me when I was researching speakers and I have no regrets.

Had friends over to watch Gladiator last night. Such a great sounding Blu-ray. Great music throughout and the battle in the beginning of the movie really popped.

If you live in the Boston area, you are more then welcome to stop by for a demo.

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post #30 of 110 Old 08-11-2014, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Interesting. Yeah I was more leaning toward HR824mk2 if I went mackie, as they seem a lot better. Also, a lot more expensive.
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