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Help! Best bookshelf speakers under $500 for movies?

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Another "best speaker for $x" question! I've done some homework, but could still use some guidance from the experts. My goal is to replace my existing L, C, R speakers with the best bookshelf 3.0 setup I can for under $500. This will be specifically for movies.

Current system:
Onkyo TX-SR707
Energy Take 5 Classic (L,C,R, LS, RS)
Random HTiB Pioneer (RL, RR)
Velodyne DEQ-12R

I've read a number of excellent reviews and threads here that point me toward Energy RC-10s for my budget. Deepstang's thread was particularly helpful. But these reviews also seem to indicate these speakers might be better for music than movies. In my limited experience, I think I might enjoy a slightly more "forward" and "brighter" speaker for HT. But I'm very much interested in your opinions.

On my list (trying to stick to ones I can listen to locally in Portland, OR):
Def Tech PM1000 or PM800
Energy CB-20 or CB-10
Infinity Primus P163
Polk RTiA3
Energy RC-10
HSU HB-1 MKII
Aperion Intimus 5B
Quad 11L (friend recommendation)

I've been able to listen to the Energy CB-10, CB-20; Def Tech PM1000. Of those, I preferred the CB-20. The CB-10 was a surprising step down-- it sounded muddy in comparison. Though, to be fair, this was in a Best Buy and I can't say whether there was a setup difference. The PM1000 was a close second to the CB-20 but to my ears had a narrower soundstage.

I appreciate your thoughts!
post #2 of 42
If you are not using a subwoofer, you will want speakers that have bass extension. Two I have tried that have great bass for bookshelf speakers are the Behringer 2031p and Hsu HB-1. I have also listened to the Infinity Primus p163, this has decent bass but doesn't have the extension of the other two, so I would skip that one. Another speaker I would look at if I were you is the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170. For the Behringers, there is no matching center speaker since they are studio monitors, so you would just need to buy another and use it as a center. If you are serious about wanting a forward sound, you will definitely want to try some Klipsch RB-61 speakers- very powerful speakers with good bass extension for bookshelf speakers, although three would go over your budget just a bit.
post #3 of 42
if you like a brighter speaker the CB-20 might be for you.

You should be able to find the RTiA3 at your local Fry's Electronics. Same for the Infinity P163.
post #4 of 42
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot for the replies! To clarify, I do have a sub-- the Velo DEQ-12. So I won't need speakers to reach super low. I'm more concerned about a clear high end and crossing them over at 80khz. Would that put the P163s back in the running?

I went by Fry's tonight hoping to listen to the RTiA3 and the P163. The place was a mess (shocking) and was only able to hear the P152s, RTiA1, and Klipsch RB51. Of those three, I liked the P152s the best. I went ahead and bought a set of P163s to try out at home based on that experience. I'll try to grab a pair of CB-20s to try at home as well.

I've heard so many good things about the RC-10s, I want to ask: In your opinion, would they make great HT speakers or are some of the others mentioned here better? Is my impression they are better for music accurate in your opinion?

I'd love to listen to the Ascends based on yours and other suggestions here...I'll keep looking to see if I can find a local dealer.
post #5 of 42
Quote:
I've heard so many good things about the RC-10s, I want to ask: In your opinion, would they make great HT speakers or are some of the others mentioned here better? Is my impression they are better for music accurate in your opinion

I have RC-10s and use them for both music and movies. I think they do well for both purposes.

Speaker preference is subjective. You may like a brighter sounding speaker whereas I don't.
post #6 of 42
fwiw,take a look at the home theater direct level3 speakers just another good option to add to your list. i know you would like to at least hear them locally but imo the ID companies speakers like hsu ,ascend acoustics, aperion and htd where designed more for the ht sound
Edited by smasher50 - 10/17/12 at 3:01am
post #7 of 42
Thread Starter 
Reality check: I understand the Klipsch speakers to be quite forward. By comparison, how you consider the P163? Similarly forward or more laid back? Please help this noob define his tastes better!

I hear you, judging speakers is a personal thing... But all the same, I really appreciate hearing what works for others and their opinions-- especially with all the great options out there!.
post #8 of 42
Read this thread (about half way in) where a couple of AVS members compared the HSU, RC-10, and CB-20.
post #9 of 42
Thread Starter 
I read that one earlier and my take was that they were comparing those speakers primarily for music, which is why I was hoping to hear views on those speakers from a strictly movies point of view.

I could be mistaken-- I'll re-read it for sure. I've definitely found new stuff when I've gone back through some of these threads. I appreciate the link!

Has anyone had any experience with the Aperion bookshelf speakers? They are located down the street from me, so should be easy to go for their 30-day trial. But would be interested in hearing some of your opinions as well.
post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by snapwing View Post

They are located down the street from me, so should be easy to go for their 30-day trial. But would be interested in hearing some of your opinions as well.

Well, you should definitely go get at least a pair and try them first smile.gif
post #11 of 42
I have the Infinity P162's. They are great speakers for the money. They do very well with the mids and highs and as long as you have a sub you should be good to go. I use mine about equally for movies, games, and music. I have had them for nearly 4 years.
post #12 of 42
Look into KEF iQ30 for $360 from KEF Direct

See if you can get a local dealer to price match.
Edited by rick240 - 10/18/12 at 8:17am
post #13 of 42
Fry's had had the Infinity Primus p363 for 100/speaker in store only....don't know if they still have that special and/or whether you have the space for a tower...but that special is hard to beat!
post #14 of 42
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions! I don't see that Fry's deal on the P363s anymore, but that would have been a sweet deal! But there's a zero WAF associated with towers, unfortunately. I currently have the P163s at home, which I've heard good things about. Fry's didn't have the matching center, so if I decide I like them I'll have to get that online. I'm going to try and "borrow" another pair or two this weekend as well to compare.

Does the KEF iQ30 have a matching center? I can't seem to find it, if so... A purely aesthetic choice, but I would prefer a dedicated center.
post #15 of 42
The P363 could be on sale this weekend. Check the Friday online ads.

The matching center for the iQ30 is the iQ60 but it is discontinued. Someone on one of these forums called KEF and the tech support person recommended the Q200 center.
http://www.kefdirect.com/q200c-centre-channel.html
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/KEFQ200CBLK/KEF-Q200C-Q-Series-Black-5-1/4-inch-Center-Channel-Speaker/1.html
post #16 of 42
I'd offer up that you should aslo consider the SVS S series, which is now on clearance for 249 for a 3.0 or 397 for a whole 5.0



http://www.svsound.com/speakers
post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by snapwing View Post

Thanks for the suggestions! I don't see that Fry's deal on the P363s anymore, but that would have been a sweet deal! But there's a zero WAF associated with towers, unfortunately. I currently have the P163s at home, which I've heard good things about. Fry's didn't have the matching center, so if I decide I like them I'll have to get that online. I'm going to try and "borrow" another pair or two this weekend as well to compare.
Does the KEF iQ30 have a matching center? I can't seem to find it, if so... A purely aesthetic choice, but I would prefer a dedicated center.

The P363 are on sale for $109 each today. They're even available online. I knew a sale was coming soon.
http://www.frys.com/product/6878376?site=sa:adpages page:P2_FRI date:101912
post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

The matching center for the iQ30 is the iQ60 but it is discontinued. Someone on one of these forums called KEF and the tech support person recommended the Q200 center.
http://www.kefdirect.com/q200c-centre-channel.html
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/KEFQ200CBLK/KEF-Q200C-Q-Series-Black-5-1/4-inch-Center-Channel-Speaker/1.html

A third iQ30 would make an excellent center also. The timbre match would be better than the Q200c, another pair of iQ30's is cheaper than a Q200c, and, since the iQ30 is a single source speaker you can lay it on it's side (on it's side it's the same height as the Q200c).
post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by smasher50 View Post

....but imo the ID companies speakers like hsu ,ascend acoustics, aperion and htd where designed more for the ht sound
What do you base that opinion on?
post #20 of 42
my own
post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by smasher50 View Post

my own
Your own what?
post #22 of 42
my own opinion
post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

A third iQ30 would make an excellent center also. The timbre match would be better than the Q200c, another pair of iQ30's is cheaper than a Q200c, and, since the iQ30 is a single source speaker you can lay it on it's side (on it's side it's the same height as the Q200c).

My exact system, just iQ3 instead of iQ30.

I convinced a friend to clone my system so we split the extra pair for our centres.
post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by smasher50 View Post

my own opinion
You base your own opinion on your own opinion?
post #25 of 42
It DOES reduce the likelihood of being contradicted....lol.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschang View Post

You base your own opinion on your own opinion?
post #26 of 42
again imo id companies like hsu, aperion htd, jtr, chase home theater and afew others design their speakers more for the home theater sound than music first and the last time i looked i still had an opinion good or bad . nobody says you or any body else has to agree .its my opinion and you or no one else is going to change it.
post #27 of 42
I think it would be safe to assume at least for HTD tongue.gif
post #28 of 42
I have owned HTD, they do a good job for music and movies.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOYrdpkHQGo
post #29 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

I have owned HTD, they do a good job for music and movies.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOYrdpkHQGo
if you where looking for a 2 channel music only system would you even have the htd speakers on your list or hsu or chase home theater or jtr's
post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by smasher50 View Post

if you where looking for a 2 channel music only system would you even have the htd speakers on your list or hsu or chase home theater or jtr's

HTD was on my list for music first. The speakers must pass the music test first >
if they do not pass on music, then I will not use them for movies. I want the music
in film, to also sound real good - I do not buy or use seperate set-ups > There is
enough artificial sound in movies to begin with > This is HTD's third placement of
the horn tweeter, and it helps to widen the soundstage.

I still respect your opiniom.smile.gif
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