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Need help choosing between these 8 speaker combinations

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I have been researching for a home theater system for the past couple of weeks. This is going to be my first system and I have had the typical "enlightenment" of a newbie who had wanted to get a HTiB but am now convinced into building the system. I have a limited budget of $700-$800. Earlier I wanted a 5.1 system in that budget but now I have decided to rather "invest" in a 2.0 or 3.0 system and then build gradually.

Right now I am looking for the speakers, once decided on that front I will move on to the AVR research. Budget for the speakers will be $700 minus cost of a good, new AVR, which put me in the range of $200-$300 speakers. Here are the options I have shortlisted so far, all cost around the same. While I will be auditioning these ones personally, I dont think I will be able to cover them all, hence I need help from you guys in helping me decide. The top level specs I know from their specsheets, what I am ignorant of is the brand reliability, the build quality, materials used, value for money, etc I hope you guys can help me out there.

  1. Option 1: Total: $248
    SVS SBS-02 $149 / pair
    SVS SCS-02 $99
  2. Option 2: Total: $348
    SVS SCS-02(M)-PAIR $249 / pair
    SVS SCS-02 $99
  3. Option 3: Total: $180
    Pioneer SP-FS51-LR $130 / pair
    Pioneer SP-C21 $50
  4. Option 4: Total: $200
    The reason I am considering these in spite of the FS are because the FS are not the prettiest in the world smile.gif, wanted to know your views on these.
    Pioneer SP-BS41-LR $150 / pair, might come down to $100
    Pioneer SP-C21 $50
  5. Option 5: Total: $305
    Polk Audio RTi6 High Performance Bookshelf Loudspeaker $180 / pair
    Polk Audio CS2 Series II Center Channel Speaker $125
    OR
    Polk Audio CS10 Center Channel Speaker $111
  6. Option 6: Total: $365
    Polk Audio Monitor60C Series II Floorstanding Loudspeaker $240 / pair
    Polk Audio CS2 Series II Center Channel Speaker $125
    OR
    Polk Audio CS10 Center Channel Speaker $111
  7. Option 7: Total: $235
    Sony SS-F5000 $150 / pair
    Sony SS-CN5000 Dual Center Channel Speaker $ 85
  8. Option 8: Total: $180
    Energy PS500 5CH Home Audio Speaker System

Edited by sandeepkor - 7/7/12 at 11:39am
post #2 of 20
Of those choices you have listed, I would rank the Pioneer speakers highest in sound quality, with the Polk second and SVS third.

I would personally find those Energy and Sony speakers not worth considering due to markedly lower sound quality.

Actually, though, if I were in your shoes I would get the Jamo S426HCS3 system, which is quite good and gives you a 5.0 system for under $250. That is probably a better-sounding setup than any of the others. I really don't think it has much competition in this price range; amazingly good for such a low price.

Check it out on Amazon or others for best pricing.
Edited by commsysman - 7/7/12 at 10:10am
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks commsysman.

Isnt Jamo S426HCS3 the same system as option 8 I included in the list? i thought they are the same.. just different labelled...
post #4 of 20
I would take option 5 with this center

http://www.ebay.com/itm/CSi-A4-CSiA4-BLACK-Center-Channel-Speaker-Polk-Audio-/360458637534?pt=Speakers_Subwoofers&hash=item53ed0250de

Then your final upgrade would be these, with the RTi6's moved to surround

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ONE-RTi-A5-RTiA5-BLACK-Tower-Loudspeaker-Polk-Audio-/230794955133?pt=Speakers_Subwoofers&hash=item35bc73897d

Otherwise, I would go with option 3. I would not consider the Jamo as superior.
post #5 of 20
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks Jay1, zieglj01..

I am having a hard time deciding between option 3 and 5 myself... any thoughts on which among Pioneer and Polk Audio had better build quality / overall record? I might have to decide on that..
post #7 of 20
If you actually move into the RTi line like I suggested, the overall quality will definitely be higher then the Pioneer's. The Pio's are well designed budget speakers, but they are still budget speakers.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
jay1: any reasons why I should choose Polk Audio CSI A4 over Polk Audio CS2 Series II?

Polk Audio CSI A4

2 x 5.25" Midrange drivers
1 x 1" Tweeter
Frequency Response: 55 Hz to 27 kHz
Sensitivity: 89 dB

Polk Audio CS2 Series II

2 x 6.5" Midrange drivers
1 x 1" Tweeter
Frequency Response: 50 Hz to 25 kHz
Sensitivity: 90 dB

from the specs it seems CS2 is better than CSI A4.
post #9 of 20
The specs you're looking at can only tell a very small fraction of the story. The drivers/components/quality from the CSi centers are the same as the RTi line, they are part of this line. The MTM section of the RTi A9 is the same as the CSi A4. The CS2 is from the Monitor line, it's a budget speaker using budget drivers/components, lower quality from every aspect.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

The specs you're looking at can only tell a very small fraction of the story. The drivers/components/quality from the CSi centers are the same as the RTi line, they are part of this line. The MTM section of the RTi A9 is the same as the CSi A4. The CS2 is from the Monitor line, it's a budget speaker using budget drivers/components, lower quality from every aspect.

Ah ok... thanks for clearing that... learnt a bit more today smile.gif
post #11 of 20
Here is a suggestion: 3 x Infinity Primus p163 = $300 shipped. Aside from that I would go for the Polk RTi speakers, but, as was mentioned above, I would not pair them with a center made for the Monitor line. Just add another RTi bookshelf speaker for a center. However, if you have a Fry's nearby and they have some Primus p363s still on sale and still in stock, drop whatever you are doing and go get them now!
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
shadyJ, I wish there was a Fry's nearby frown.gif none in the whole of Minnesota.. The $99 price for p363s was amazing..
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepkor View Post

I am having a hard time deciding between option 3 and 5 myself... any thoughts on which among Pioneer and Polk Audio had better build quality / overall record? I might have to decide on that..

The RTI series is somewhat better - however for me, not an overall clear winner. It would be easier to
build up from the RTi series - as the current Pioneer series are being phased out. The newer Pioneer
series will be out soon, and the word is that they have improved the quality. The Polk RTi series can
be a nice option for you, as you can work up to bigger and more powerful towers. Good Luck with your
decision - my overall favorite is not on your list.smile.gif
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

Good Luck with your decision - my overall favorite is not on your list.smile.gif

Which is your overall favorite?
post #15 of 20
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
Ohhhkk!!

So now its a shootout between the Pioneer, Polk and Boston Acoustics!! I am going to go audition them in a store nearby if possible!!

P.S. If those Boston Acoustics A-250 were available in black at that price, it was a done deal ten times over smile.gif ..
post #17 of 20
I would go option 3, well I have gone with option 3. The RTi you listed might be a higher line than the Pioneer's but it's still a bookshelf speaker while the FS51's are floorstanders. With the 51's you'll get much deeper base as you save up for a sub. Plus they are cheaper. I'd then use what money you save to add a pair of surrounds, the bs21's can be had for cheap, or look at a slightly higher model of AVR with better room correction software.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepkor View Post

Ohhhkk!!
So now its a shootout between the Pioneer, Polk and Boston Acoustics!! I am going to go audition them in a store nearby if possible!!
P.S. If those Boston Acoustics A-250 were available in black at that price, it was a done deal ten times over smile.gif ..

They do have refurbish ones in black
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/BOSA250GB/BOSTON-ACOUSTICS-A250-2-Way-Dual-5.25in-Floor-Standing-Speaker-EA-Black/1.html

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/BOSA225CGB/BOSTON-ACOUSTICS-A225C-2-Way-Center-Channel-Speaker-Black/1.html
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
I am not too sure about refurbished speakers, bit apprehensive about them - since speakers are the most important link in the whole home theater.

On the topic of refurbished items, I have never bought any refurbished electronics as yet. How safe and reliable is it to buy a factory refurbished AVR?
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepkor View Post

I am not too sure about refurbished speakers, bit apprehensive about them - since speakers are the most important link in the whole home theater.
On the topic of refurbished items, I have never bought any refurbished electronics as yet. How safe and reliable is it to buy a factory refurbished AVR?
A lot of us like things brand new.smile.gif

I have bought Denon and Marantz refurbish receivers, with no problems.

I linked the refurbish speakers as an option, just something to consider - for any one on
a tight budget. All in all, speakers tend to be more reliable than anything out there. How
ever no guarantees, that something new may not have a problem. Also, there are times
when people simply send something back, claiming that there is a problem - and really
there is none (it is their way of changing their mind), the product still needs to be checked
over, and can not be sold again as brand new.
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