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Budget Bookshelf Speakers with Good Speed and Bass Response?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm looking into a set of entry level bookshelf speakers, my options are:

Infinity p142 4" driver, 80$ pair
Precision Acoustics hd4 4" driver, 80$ pair
Jbl tour 4" driver 80$ pair

Fluance Sx6 5" driver 100$ pair
Energy Connoisseur cb10 5.25" driver, 150$ pair
Infinity p143 4" driver, 160$ pair
Klipsch Synergy b10b 4" driver 150$ pair

I'm looking for bookshelves that can provide clean quick (responsive) bass in the 60-80hz range, I also want a decent soundstage that puts the mid frequencies out front.

It is difficult to get a good idea of the sound the way bestbuy has their speakers set up (bookshelves, towers, sub all on one amp) which is why i came here to ask peoples opinions of the bass response and clarity of current entry level book shelf speakers.

My first thought would be to go for the Energy's for the larger drivers but i also hear Klipsch's get quite low for the size of the speaker.

To me the Klipsch setup i listened to sounded a little boomy in the bass area even after i turned the sub down until the towers took over most of the bass and the mids sounded a little pushed back.

The infinity setup had nice clear mids and very quick response but the soundstage didn't seem to even exist and the low bass response was lacking.

The jbl setup sounded the best of any of them once i got it plugged into a decent source, it had good clean mids and good powerful bass response without sounding boomy. Bestbuy cut short a sale they were having on loft 30 bookshelfs though and i don't think the tour series has decent cabinets.

I'm hoping to buy whatever i choose over the next few days and any input is greatly appreciated smile.gif

Also my budget is locked at 200$ (after tax) so while more expensive speakers may be a better value, i just cant afford them.
post #2 of 17
I suggest that you get a pair of Polk Monitor 40 speakers; I think you can still find them for $200 at Amazon.

A typical 4-inch driver is probably too small for what you want (there are some high-performance 4" drivers, but only in much more expensive speakers.).
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
I live in Canada and would be limited to the polk monitor 30's if buying from amazon or a similar site.
What specifically do you like about the polk's ?
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm a bit of a cerwin vega fan as well and found some xls-6's for 150$, with 6.5" woofers how would they stack up for overall sound quality?

Edit: Never mind the ebay post was labelled wrong.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
I found some ve-5m's though for around the same price.
So how does Cerwin Vega stack up to the other brands?
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
I found some gently used psb 400 bookshelves with 6.5" drivers locally, for 150 with a kenwood receiver thrown in i can't pass it up. Feel free to throw in some opinions on my purchase though smile.gif
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mik James View Post

I found some gently used psb 400 bookshelves with 6.5" drivers locally, for 150 with a kenwood receiver thrown in i can't pass it up. Feel free to throw in some opinions on my purchase though smile.gif

Good choice - have fun
post #8 of 17
Sounds like a steal; Hope it's NOT stolen...lol.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
biggrin.gif I liked the entry level alpha series that sonystore sells (they certianly beat the sony bookshelves) so i figure i'll like an older higher end set smile.gif
Edited by Mik James - 11/21/13 at 12:55pm
post #10 of 17
If bass is a priority at all you'll be very glad you got something with 6.5's. It's tough-to-impossible for a 4" driver to compete when they give up so much surface area. I have the Polk Monitor 30's (5.5 driver) and I wouldn't recommend them without a sub. I have some Paradigm Mini Monitor 2 ways with 6.5 drivers that run circles around them. Quality is obviously a big part of that, but it's tough for 4~5" speakers to compete across the full range.

So yes, good job, better than your first choices. If you live in Canada and want to upgrade I totally recommend giving some Paradigms a listen.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
I saw some paradigm export monitor series for 100 on kijiji as well as some 3se's but i was a little iffy on buying 30 year old speakers since i'd have to repair the foam surrounds.
The guy even threw in a jbl 8" powered arc sub biggrin.gif It only works half the time but might be worth a shot as a diy repair.
The psb's will actually be used in a medium volume practice environment with an electronic drum kit although i may end up using my vega v29 pa's for their intended purpose rather than home theater and use the psb's for their intended purpose.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
I'm looking into a set of entry level bookshelf speakers, my options are:

Infinity p142 4" driver, 80$ pair
Precision Acoustics hd4 4" driver, 80$ pair
Jbl tour 4" driver 80$ pair

Fluance Sx6 5" driver 100$ pair
Energy Connoisseur cb10 5.25" driver, 150$ pair
Infinity p143 4" driver, 160$ pair
Klipsch Synergy b10b 4" driver 150$ pair

The p142 and P143 are the same speaker, the only difference is cosmetic.

I don't think you can expect any of those 4" drivers to deliver clean bass at 60-80hz.

If you got the PSB 400 then you made the best decision.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Also i used to own a vega sub with low level and high level inputs and the jbl sub has the same config but i'm a little fuzzy on inputs. Is the high level input for use with an amplified signal taking the workload off the subs internal amp?
The reason i ask is because the subs amp doesn't seem to function overly well at the moment and i have 3 free powered outputs on the kenwood receiver. It would be great if i could power the sub with one of those whilst still making use of the subs crossover.
post #14 of 17
No, the speaker level inputs just pull the signal from that path and still rely on the sub's amplifier for power. They are just there for systems where the receiver does not have a sub level output. You can't easily run a sub off a speaker output from your receiver even if you opened it up and bypassed the plate amp it would be a very unbalanced load for your receiver to run. If it's intermittent on/off it may be as simple as a broken solder joint or missed connection somewhere.
post #15 of 17
Pioneer bs-22 will be a great choice, chem them out
post #16 of 17
I would vote for the PSB 400's or spend a little more money and get the PSB Alpha B1's (or used Alpha B's)
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the info guys, i'll check out some of those speakers anyways for possible future upgrades.
The psb 400's are already bought and payed for, here's the rundown:
Psb 400's in excellent condition
Jbl 8" 75 watt arc sub in decent condition,
Kenwood vr-206 receiver in excellent condition.
Kenwood 5 disc cd player (kind of useless to me but the guy threw it in)

Total cost for everything 150$

Edit: I got a chance to listen to what the issue with the sub was, sounds like a scratchy volume pot, to the point where it's cutting out at a few small areas of the volume control.
The sub also doesn't seem to want to power up with a signal so i need to reconnect the audio cables when i want it to power up from standby.
Otherwise it sounds great and has nice extension for a small sub.
I probably won't worry about lubing the volume pot for now, the temporary turning trick should do the trick for now.
Edited by Mik James - 1/16/13 at 12:17pm
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