or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Speakers › Budget-conscious college student looking for a solid pair of speakers
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Budget-conscious college student looking for a solid pair of speakers

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
So I'm in charge of getting the audio system for my apartment next year, and I can clearly say after doing some research - this audio stuff is really complex.

Anyway, the room is around 10' by 20' with 15' ceilings. The speakers will be used for about 60% music, (variety of genres, some with a decent amount of bass, some without) 20% gaming, and 20% everything else like tv and movies. So good music quality is very important. I plan on getting the Denon AVR-1911 for around $400 (unless someone knows a better deal or product) because of its simple ipod connectivity, video upscaling, expandability, and good reviews.

As for the speakers, I'm definitely trying to limit myself to $400 as well. I was thinking 2.0 would be the best option because of the focus on music and the limited budget.

My options as of now are: (price is per pair)

1. $200 Pioneer SP-FS51-LR. They're designed by Andrew Jones, who's apparently a big deal, so they have to be pretty good.

2. $400 Polk Monitor 70. Really good reviews on amazon

3. $400 Cerwin Vega VE-12 that someone recommended to me.

4. $270 Boston Acoustics VR1

5. $300 Boston Acoustics CS 226

Honestly, I have no idea what the difference is between any of these speakers, what has a good reputation and which is the best with music. I don't know where i can go to listen to any of them (except for the pioneer at best buy). I'm definitely open to suggestions for different speakers, I'm just completely dumbfounded over this whole process. Any help or advice would be appreciated, thanks!

Also, I need speaker wire, right? The speakers won't be too far from the receiver, so I don't think I'll need too much of it
post #2 of 20
Polk Monitor 70's are a great speaker for 2channel set-ups

They can he had here though for cheaper
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882290208

Alot of people like the Infinity Primus P362/P363's for music
But you have to pick them up at a local Fry's electronics
post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyrob425 View Post

Polk Monitor 70's are a great speaker for 2channel set-ups

They can he had here though for cheaper
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882290208

I have the Pioneers and love them but I have a 7.2 system. For a 2.0 system I would jump on the Polk 70's especially at $179!
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crblanz View Post

My options as of now are: (price is per pair)

1. $200 Pioneer SP-FS51-LR. They're designed by Andrew Jones, who's apparently a big deal, so they have to be pretty good.

2. $400 Polk Monitor 70. Really good reviews on amazon

3. $400 Cerwin Vega VE-12 that someone recommended to me.

4. $270 Boston Acoustics VR1

5. $300 Boston Acoustics CS 226

For a tight budget - the Boston VR1 is a solid choice. The $270
is a discontinued price.
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crblanz View Post

Also, I need speaker wire, right? The speakers won't be too far from the receiver, so I don't think I'll need too much of it

Home Depot, nice and simple. You can get 14GA by the foot for nice and cheap there. You don't need any of the name brand stuff especially if you are trying to stay on a budget.
post #6 of 20
Yea I would go with the Polk Monitor 70s as well for $400 budget. Or if you like horn-loaded tweeters, take a look at BIC PL-76s http://www.acousticsounddesign.com/c...pid=1538&sc=32
Apply ME20 for 20% off.

Some nice bookshelves:
Energy CB20
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...61/energy-cb20
post #7 of 20
I recommend two JBL LSR 2328P monitors. http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LSR2328P/

Run em straight out of the RCA outs of your source and skip the receiver.

Out of what you're looking at, the Pioneers would be my first choice. The polks are junk.
post #8 of 20
Or why not get a 5.0 set with the Jamo s606 from Vanns for 350 total. The towers in this set are pretty good and then you have the whole 5.0 set too.
post #9 of 20
I like the Jamo 606...5.0 setup for $400 from Vanns.com. Its my favorite in the price range.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by clownaphobia View Post

I like the Jamo 606...5.0 setup for $400 from Vanns.com. Its my favorite in the price range.

Actually...they have these on a great sale! $350 with free shipping! Thats a TERRIFIC set of speakers for cheap!!
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eternal Velocity View Post

I recommend two JBL LSR 2328P monitors. http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LSR2328P/

Run em straight out of the RCA outs of your source and skip the receiver.

Out of what you're looking at, the Pioneers would be my first choice. The polks are junk.

Great idea, I'd blow the whole 800 on monitors. This is a large room and low end speakers aren't going to rock to place.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ehlarson View Post

Great idea, I'd blow the whole 800 on monitors. This is a large room and low end speakers aren't going to rock to place.

Yes.

The JBLs will play loud with LOW distortion thanks to their excellent, large woofer matched to a large EOS waveguide.

They will also have reduced side wall reflections and some level of controlled directivity.

They will be active, so there is no insertion loss... efficiency is higher than normal so 95 "harman watts" here is probably similar to 140 watts being poured into a passive speaker. There is also no concern over insufficient amplification as it's already engineered right into the product.

They have a baffle step compensation switch, which can make a huge difference of sound quality as an effect of placement.

They will produce plenty of clean, but not overdone bass which extends all the way down to 40hz or so. For most scenarios a subwoofer would be unecessary.

They are rugged professional speakers built to last.

And finally, they sound clean and detailed enough that when the time comes to build a 5.2 etc system, they can be a centerpiece (or superior surround speakers) rather than a relic of a time of poor funding.

Most TVs do a fine job of converting an HDMI signal into stereo RCA output. I think good receivers are a good investment, but with the budget of the OP, I don't think it's a vital one if he picks the right active studio monitors. The amps of the 1911 for example are probably lacking if I had to guess.

For ipod connectivity, a simple 3.5mm to RCA cord like this

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

is all a person really needs. Anything else is just pure marketing drivel.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayweh32 View Post

Or why not get a 5.0 set with the Jamo s606 from Vanns for 350 total. The towers in this set are pretty good and then you have the whole 5.0 set too.

These actually seem very interesting to me. It seems like what you get is incredible for the price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eternal Velocity View Post

I recommend two JBL LSR 2328P monitors.
Run em straight out of the RCA outs of your source and skip the receiver.

Out of what you're looking at, the Pioneers would be my first choice. The polks are junk.

You're the only one to say that the polks are bad, why do you think so?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehlarson View Post

Great idea, I'd blow the whole 800 on monitors. This is a large room and low end speakers aren't going to rock to place.

This and the second quote seem to talk about something that doesn't make much sense to me. How can a pair of speakers, (the "monitors") each with 1 tweeter and 1 woofer, be better than something like the the polks or pioneers, which have more woofers and whatnot, and are larger at a much smaller price? Especially the monitors that cost $800, just seems like it costs a lot for what you get.
I'm guessing that I'm just not understanding something, could you elaborate on why those are so much better?
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crblanz View Post

You're the only one to say that the polks are bad, why do you think so?

Because I'm an elitist snob who thinks they sound very poor and overpriced - dirt cheap as they may be.

Quote:


something that doesn't make much sense to me. How can a pair of speakers, (the "monitors") each with 1 tweeter and 1 woofer, be better than something like the the polks or pioneers, which have more woofers and whatnot, and are larger at a much smaller price? Especially the monitors that cost $800, just seems like it costs a lot for what you get.

I won't comment on the pioneers, as i've only heard their ~5k EX series speakers which are just a notch below world class...

But basically there's a few things involved in loudspeaker design:

- Getting frequency response as flat as possible and power response tapering down as frequency response rises
- Making a cabinet which does not resonate (cabinet)
- Getting drivers with low distortion in their passband (drivers)
- Integrating drivers together seemlessly (crossover)
- Getting a final impedance and sensitivity which allows available amplficiation to obtain good sound quality

Now the Polk Monitor 70 speakers do have "more drivers (albeit 6.5 inch)" but they're the types of drivers which are manufactured cheaply - mediocre excursion and low linearity - so you basically "need" more to compensate. The cabinets are tall and bracing is probably sub-par to say the least. The crossovers are poor - coherency is a mess. Impedance is a question mark - they state 8 ohms but it never means a thing unless you've got a frequency response vs impedance and phase angle plot. Polks also tend to overemphasize a certain higher frequency region - whether it's on axis response or off axis flaring causing this I don't know, but that's the gist of it.

Now the JBLs (and many studio monitors in general) do a few things

- Strive for flat frequency response for monitoring purposes (no need to impress anyone with hype for sales... reproduction is what sells monitors)
- Strive for tapering power response as a function of harman research
- Making well braced and short cabinets
- Use high excursion, high linearity 8" driver
- Use excellent waveguides to reduce tweeter distortion and thus increase SPLs, not to mention create coherent match from tweeter to woofer.
- Only use two drivers, which keeps things simply
- are active, which eliminates amp purchasing from the equation.

Also, while these aren't towers, they are by no means "small" speakers.

as for a single tweeter - most loudspeaker designs only use a single tweeter. With a waveguide this is usually fine as it increases low end output. Multiple tweeters are never a good idea. Again, better drivers sound better as volume rises, whereas the inferior tweeters on the polks will likely just become unpleasant.

With a good speaker "loud" isn't "too loud".

So maybe the polks can play "louder" but it won't be the same sort of pleasant loudness.
post #15 of 20
For you budget I would get the Jamo S606. They may not have as much bass as you would like but you can always add a sub later. I think you would be most impressed with you budget.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by eternal velocity View Post

i recommend two jbl lsr 2328p monitors. http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/lsr2328p/

run em straight out of the rca outs of your source and skip the receiver.

Out of what you're looking at, the pioneers would be my first choice. the polks are junk.

lol
post #17 of 20
The BA VR1's would be preferable to the CS226's. You can currently get them directly from BA for $250 for a pair (with free shipping):
http://www.bostonacoustics.com/VR1-Black-Only-P310.aspx
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crblanz View Post

My options as of now are: (price is per pair)

1. $200 Pioneer SP-FS51-LR. They're designed by Andrew Jones, who's apparently a big deal, so they have to be pretty good.

2. $400 Polk Monitor 70. Really good reviews on amazon

3. $400 Cerwin Vega VE-12 that someone recommended to me.

4. $270 Boston Acoustics VR1

5. $300 Boston Acoustics CS 226

All good choices in that price range and will probably perform similarly. I'd also look at your local Craigslist for some used Paradigm or Klipsch or JBL floor standing speakers. Both very efficient and can be had fairly cheap!
post #19 of 20
I can speak to the Monitor series since my previous setup was based on it. If you are going to get a decent sub, you may be better off with the M60s (or M50s if your budget is really tight).

If your requirement is NOT big towers, you may also want to look at the Polk Rti A3, which should also sound better with a sub. These should be under $400. Alternative to the Rti A3 is the Rti6 (previous gen to A3 but very similar in performance). The Rti6 can be had for a really cheap bargain price from Crutchfield.

You may also want to add the BIC Acoustech PL-76 to the list of potential speakers. While researching for Acoustech subs, I came across this one, and it seems like they are a bargain for what they have to offer. You should be able to get a pair for under $400 or less (google or ebay).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Crblanz View Post

So I'm in charge of getting the audio system for my apartment next year, and I can clearly say after doing some research - this audio stuff is really complex.

Anyway, the room is around 10' by 20' with 15' ceilings. The speakers will be used for about 60% music, (variety of genres, some with a decent amount of bass, some without) 20% gaming, and 20% everything else like tv and movies. So good music quality is very important. I plan on getting the Denon AVR-1911 for around $400 (unless someone knows a better deal or product) because of its simple ipod connectivity, video upscaling, expandability, and good reviews.

As for the speakers, I'm definitely trying to limit myself to $400 as well. I was thinking 2.0 would be the best option because of the focus on music and the limited budget.

My options as of now are: (price is per pair)

1. $200 Pioneer SP-FS51-LR. They're designed by Andrew Jones, who's apparently a big deal, so they have to be pretty good.

2. $400 Polk Monitor 70. Really good reviews on amazon

3. $400 Cerwin Vega VE-12 that someone recommended to me.

4. $270 Boston Acoustics VR1

5. $300 Boston Acoustics CS 226

Honestly, I have no idea what the difference is between any of these speakers, what has a good reputation and which is the best with music. I don't know where i can go to listen to any of them (except for the pioneer at best buy). I'm definitely open to suggestions for different speakers, I'm just completely dumbfounded over this whole process. Any help or advice would be appreciated, thanks!

Also, I need speaker wire, right? The speakers won't be too far from the receiver, so I don't think I'll need too much of it
post #20 of 20
By the way, if you have a Frys store near by, check out the JBL ES80's they have on sale this week (Frys big anniversary sales event this weekend). I can't vouch for how they sound since I haven't auditioned them, but just based on the selling price (as compared to the MSRP), they are a bargain.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Speakers
AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Speakers › Budget-conscious college student looking for a solid pair of speakers