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please recommend a 2.1 setup for around 700

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hello,
I just bought a big screen HDTV (Panasonic VT25 plasma 54 inch) and needed to buy a set of speakers and amplifiers to go along with it.

I have spent numerous days on the forums, trying to find a recommendation that matched my needs, but have been unable to do so.

TYPE OF AUDIO:
I will be using the system mainly for music (and watching television). The music I listen to is country, pop and techno. I might upgrade this system to a 5.1 system later, but for now, i want a system that plays MUSIC beautifully.

I live in an apartment, so I cannot afford to be very big on bass!

The speakers I have been looking at:
1) Paradigm studio 10 - outside my budget, but they sounded good to my (untrained!) ears.
2) Polk r30s - sounded a bit muddled at the low end (perhaps it was the setup at the audio store?)
3) Magnepan MMGs - lack of bass is not a problem, and I have some freedom to set them up, so as to position the "sweet spot" where I sit. But I cant find a store to listen to these anywere! (Im in Cleveland)

The amplifiers I have been looking at:
1) Yamaha Aventage - outside my price range!
2) Which 5.1 amplifier will best suit my needs?



The bottomline is that I want "sweet sounding music" through my speakres. Please do guide me through buying my first set of "good" speakers.

Thanks,
Sunil
post #2 of 14
There are two ways you can go about accomplishing your goal, from my perspective. One solution is to get two nice speakers now and a cheap, temporary stereo receiver or amplifier, and the other is to get a nice AVR and just a couple inexpensive but decent speakers to start out with- and those inexpensive speakers can go to the rear channels when you can afford more substantial fronts.

For solution one, look on craigslist or ebay for a receiver or amp, you ought to get a pretty decent one for 100 to 150, then go with some speakers around the $600 range. MMGs would be nice, also look at Ascend Acoustics CMT340's, Aperion 6Bs, EMPtek E5Ti or E55Ti, or Infinity Primus p362s. Of course, you should audition what you can locally, also look through audiogon.com to see what can be had there.

For the second option, I would go with a five to six hundred dollar receiver, like say a pioneer VSX-1129, Onkyo TX-SR708, Yamaha VX667, and correspondingly priced lines from Marantz, Denon, and Harman/Kardon. Then I would get some inexpensive but good speakers, something like Infinity Primus P152s, or P162s, or Behringer 2030ps. Also check out these TCA WAFs, great deal right there. Also check Craigslist, Audiogon, and ebay to see if there any good used deals.
post #3 of 14
I'll toss out a couple of ideas. You can pick up a pair of Behringer B2030P studio monitors for $130-150/pr shipped. These are homely speakers but have about the best sound quality bang for the buck going. You may be able to give them a listen at Guitar Center. Because they don't make a center you'd just use another B2030P as a center. Add your favorite $250-300 subwoofer and a refurbished Onkyo TX-SR508 receiver for $210+S&H. That's about $600-700 depending on the sub and shipping charges.

Or you could go with the sub and receiver from above and substitute Infinity Primus P162 bookshelves ($85ea shipped). These are a lot better looking and sound really good for the price. Later when you're ready to expand you'd add a PC250 center ($150 shipped) and P152 bookshelves as surrounds ($75ea). $650-700 depending on the sub and shipping charges.

Or you could buy 2 Infinity Primus P362 floor standers ($229ea) if you can find any. They've been replaced in the line-up with a more expensive model but check Amazon. With these you'd go without a sub for the time being. You could drive these off of the same 508 or step up to the TX-SR608. Later you'd add a PC350 center and the P152 surrounds.
post #4 of 14
Good advice so far.

I would definitely invest in quality in one area or the other and move up over time. There is an argument to be made for putting your money in speakers now because speaker technology moves at a much slower pace than receiver technology. A few years ago HDMI made it's introduction, and now 3D, networking, and various other features are finding their way into products.

In addition, a pair of $500 speakers driven by a $200 receiver are going to sound better than a pair of $200 speakers driven by a $500 receiver (yes, I'm sure there are exceptions to this rule, as there are to all rules).

I would definitely look at refurbished receivers. You can get excellent deals on Marantz, Yamaha, Denon, and Pioneer and all of them will serve you well.

As you noted, the more expensive speakers sounded better to you. Look at manufacturer refurbished. You'll get a lot more for your money. Also, don't shy away from bookshelfs because you think you won't get any bass. That is not always the the case. Those R30s you listened to are nothing more than bookshelfs in a long cabinet, to an extent. You can find plenty of bookshelfs with two drivers that are going to give you better sound and better value.
post #5 of 14
Getting a refurbish receiver from AC4L is a good start - depending
on your budget go for Onkyo. Go to Emotiva.com and look at the
Ultra 10 sub - I think it is worth checking in to. Go to Crutchfield
and look at the Infinity P162 bookshelf speakers. For the price the
Infinity is musical. Another option is to go to www.nhthifi.com
and look at the Absolute Zero speakers - a real good deal. From
experience the NHT is the most musical sounding compared to Polk
and Infinity, to my ears. onecall.com has giving me deals on NHT.
Another option is to buy the Nht Classic Two and hold off the sub.
I don't remember - but I think Magnepan has a 60 day return policy.
post #6 of 14
If you only have $700 and want two speakers, sub AND a receiver I would skip the subwoofer for now and just get two speakers and a receiver.

Right now you can get the Energy RC-30 towers for $200 each. They are excellent with music and not fatiguing at all. I'd rather have those than the Infinity P362.

Newegg has a sale on the Yamaha RX-V765 receiver for $328 shipped. Use promo code EMCYXZY22 to get the savings.
http://promotions.newegg.com/NEemail...x-landing.aspx
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882115197


Total spent will be about $750-760 after paying for shipping on the speakers.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

If you only have $700 and want two speakers, sub AND a receiver I would skip the subwoofer for now and just get two speakers and a receiver.

Right now you can get the Energy RC-30 towers for $200 each. They are excellent with music and not fatiguing at all. I'd rather have those than the Infinity P362.

Newegg has a sale on the Yamaha RX-V765 receiver for $328 shipped. Use promo code EMCYXZY22 to get the savings.
http://promotions.newegg.com/NEemail...x-landing.aspx
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882115197


Total spent will be about $750-760 after paying for shipping on the speakers.

Would have to agree. And if you want You could ask WWstereo if they could sell you a pair of Energy RC-50's for $498. They listed them on ebay for that much so maybe they might sell you a pair for that much. But the RC-30's are good too.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunil26joshi View Post

Hello,
I just bought a big screen HDTV (Panasonic VT25 plasma 54 inch) and needed to buy a set of speakers and amplifiers to go along with it.

I have spent numerous days on the forums, trying to find a recommendation that matched my needs, but have been unable to do so.

TYPE OF AUDIO:
I will be using the system mainly for music (and watching television). The music I listen to is country, pop and techno. I might upgrade this system to a 5.1 system later, but for now, i want a system that plays MUSIC beautifully.

I live in an apartment, so I cannot afford to be very big on bass!

The speakers I have been looking at:
1) Paradigm studio 10 - outside my budget, but they sounded good to my (untrained!) ears.
2) Polk r30s - sounded a bit muddled at the low end (perhaps it was the setup at the audio store?)
3) Magnepan MMGs - lack of bass is not a problem, and I have some freedom to set them up, so as to position the "sweet spot" where I sit. But I cant find a store to listen to these anywere! (Im in Cleveland)

The amplifiers I have been looking at:
1) Yamaha Aventage - outside my price range!
2) Which 5.1 amplifier will best suit my needs?



The bottomline is that I want "sweet sounding music" through my speakres. Please do guide me through buying my first set of "good" speakers.

Thanks,
Sunil

The Paradigm Studios are a great choice. The Studio 10s and 20s (depending on version) are not outside your budget reach if you consider buying in the used market. Since you've heard the Paradigms and liked them try searching craigslist, eBay and audiogon.

Starting with 2 main speakers and receiver is a good idea since "sweet sounding music" is a main consideration.

I replaced a pair of Paradigm Studio 20 v2 with Dali Ikon 2. IMO, the Dali's are a superior musical speaker. Here is a pair listed on audiogon. I can vouch for the seller having previous dealings with him. You'll be several steps up on the music listening ladder with the Paradigms and Dalis compared to what has been suggested.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Wow! Thanks for all the replies. My only concern with the Energy RC-30s is the bass. Would it be too much for my apartment? That is why I was leaning towards the MMGs.

Can I get any feedback on how the RC-30s perform at low/mid volume levels?

Regarding the reciever, and going by the policy of spending more on the speakers than the receiver, what do you guys think about the
Pioneer VSX 820K (299 dollars)
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
The paradigm studio 20!

I wished it wasnt going to raise its head! But I really appreciate the advice nevertheless...

I know they are highly regarded. They are slightly outside my price range, and Ill have to position them on a shelf or more likely buy/make some stands...

Would you opine that they are that much better than floorstanders? I really like the convinience of getting some floorstanders and plonking them on the floor, rather than fret about my cabinets (ikea) providing the ideal location for them...


Why does hifi audio have to be so complicated?
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunil26joshi View Post

Wow! Thanks for all the replies. My only concern with the Energy RC-30s is the bass. Would it be too much for my apartment? That is why I was leaning towards the MMGs.

Can I get any feedback on how the RC-30s perform at low/mid volume levels?

Regarding the reciever, and going by the policy of spending more on the speakers than the receiver, what do you guys think about the
Pioneer VSX 820K (299 dollars)

I have owned the vsx 820 and it is nice - do not use it with
something like the Magnepans. I am not qualified to speak for
the Energy speakers. If you do not by used speakers - then
make sure you have a 30 day return policy. You might be able
to buy something from Walmart to put bookshelf speakers on.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunil26joshi View Post

The paradigm studio 20!

I wished it wasnt going to raise its head! But I really appreciate the advice nevertheless...

I know they are highly regarded. They are slightly outside my price range, and Ill have to position them on a shelf or more likely buy/make some stands...

Would you opine that they are that much better than floorstanders? I really like the convinience of getting some floorstanders and plonking them on the floor, rather than fret about my cabinets (ikea) providing the ideal location for them...


Why does hifi audio have to be so complicated?

There is a pair of Studio 20 v3 listed on this site for sale. No price, looking for offers. Maybe look in to it?

Bookshelf speakers generally provide a greater bang for buck vs floor standing speakers but may not be the case when adding the cost of stands and a subwoofer. Floor standing speakers will extend lower, maybe not requiring a sub/

Paradigm Studio 60 v2s are selling for $500 or less a pair in the used market.

Going with floor standing speakers seems to be a better option for you if you can't place bookshelfs on stands.

Here is an OK deal on Studio 20 v3s.

EDIT: The eBay listing and the listing on AVS are for the same speakers. Contact the seller through AVS and work something out!

You'll be pleased with any Paradigm Studio series you may find.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
After much fretting and reading, here is what I have settled on:

1) Speakers: RC50s if WWstereo will sell them for 498 or so. Else with the RC30s.

2) Reciever: Really thinking of going with the Denon 591. Else the yamaha, but dont really need the 7.2 etc..

Ill make my purchase today/early tomm. Thank you for your help! Any red flags welcome!
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunil26joshi View Post

After much fretting and reading, here is what I have settled on:

1) Speakers: RC50s if WWstereo will sell them for 498 or so. Else with the RC30s.

2) Reciever: Really thinking of going with the Denon 591. Else the yamaha, but dont really need the 7.2 etc..

Ill make my purchase today/early tomm. Thank you for your help! Any red flags welcome!

I'd go with the denon, my roomey picked up the last years equivalent of that receiver for our upstairs setup and i've been very impressed with it. The nice thing about Denon receivers is they will deliver the advertised wattage, most of the low end sony's, yamaha's, etc, dont quite live up to their ratings.

Edit: Also, i think you'll be insanely happy with RC50's or RC30's. Energy makes a nice balanced speakers, and the reference connosieuer (sp?) line is one of the best bang for buck out there.
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