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Speaker Recommendations for $500 budget

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Looking to upgrade my current system with new front channels and center. Have a budget of $500 for a 16' X 19' Room.

System will be used 100% for home theater.

Currently have: Wharfedale 9.4 + 9.CS Center, Premier Acoustics PA10W, Onkyo SR508.

Proposed Systems

Energy Take 5.0 $299

Polk TSi300 + CS10 $439

Infinity Primus 163BK + PC351 $470

PSB Alpha B1 + Image C4 $480

HSU HB-1 + HSU HC-1 $567

Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 + CS $600

CBM170SE + CMT-340 $646
Edited by hi_fi82 - 6/25/13 at 1:10pm
post #2 of 24
First, the Alpha C1 is the correct center to match with the other Alpha series PSBs.

I'd recommend eliminating the first four on your list and go with one of the last three.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Appreciate the recommendation. Looking for a forward, dynamic sound, therefore are HSU and Klipsch the best options? How about the Yamaha NS Series? Swan?
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
Updated. Deciding between these speakers. Price provided is per pair, excluding shipping.

Infinity P235BK $300.00

HSU HB-1 MK2 $318.00

Axiom M3 V3 $378.00

JBL L830 $330.00

Axiom M3 V2 $378.00

Monitor Audio BX2 $389.00

Wharfedale 10.2 $449.00

Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 SE $498.00

Axiom M22 V3 $518.00

Swan Diva 2.1SE $549.00

Monitor Audio BX5 $599.00
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by hi_fi82 View Post

Updated. Deciding between these speakers. Price provided is per pair, excluding shipping.

Infinity P235BK $300.00

HSU HB-1 MK2 $318.00

Axiom M3 V3 $378.00

JBL L830 $330.00

Axiom M3 V2 $378.00

Monitor Audio BX2 $389.00

Wharfedale 10.2 $449.00

Ascend Acoustics CMT-340 SE $498.00

Axiom M22 V3 $518.00

Swan Diva 2.1SE $549.00

Monitor Audio BX5 $599.00

The Swans are for sure the most speaker for the money but are IMO really more suited for someone that appreciates and listens to a lot of music. Not saying that they can't be good for HT but music is what they were designed for.

For HT, out of that list, the CMT-340s would be my choice.
post #6 of 24
He did mention he wanted a forward/dynamic sound, the Axiom M22 V3 might be a good choice in that case.
post #7 of 24
Since you included Energy, Polk and Primus 163 in that list, wouldn't Pioneer FS52s be up for consideration?
post #8 of 24
So, here is a link to a recent shoot out of sub $400 speakers http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article/review-clash-minispeakers?cmpid=obinsite

and since they refer to the Martin Logan Motion 15 ($800).....here it is compared to two of the speaker in the shootout
http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/blog/2013/04/09/review-martinlogan-motion-15

on a side note....the Marimba and the HSU have had great reviews from other magazines....one factor in your decision could be....how loud do you want the speaker to play....of all these speakers, the HSU's will likely play the loudest..
post #9 of 24
So, here is a link to a recent shoot out of sub $400 speakers http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/article/review-clash-minispeakers?cmpid=obinsite

and since they refer to the Martin Logan Motion 15 ($800).....here it is compared to two of the speaker in the shootout
http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/blog/2013/04/09/review-martinlogan-motion-15

on a side note....the Marimba and the HSU have had great reviews from other magazines....one factor in your decision could be....how loud do you want the speaker to play....of all these speakers, the HSU's will likely play the loudest..
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by RN2013 View Post

of all these speakers, the HSU's will likely play the loudest..

You mean from that shootout? Seems like at least half the speakers in that shootout were measured to have sensitivity around the same or better than the HSUs (measurements are at the end of each review). The sensitivity listing of 92 dB / 1m / 2.83V in Half Space on HSU's website is a little misleading when comparing to other manufacturer specs since sensitivity is often measured in 1m/2.83V full space. For instance, the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SE in his original list should be equivalent, and the CMT-340 SE probably a little better.
post #11 of 24
All true...but if you read some of the reviews of the HSU's, they will play at ear blistering levels and can handle at lot of power...if that matters to you. In my mind, if the bookshelves will be mated to a sub then I would opt for the speaker with the best mids, top and imaging as crossing to the sub should let them all play loud. I don't own the HSU's but will probably give them a try as the price is good and the return policy fair....good luck.
post #12 of 24
Like cel mentioned about, Hsu's sensitivity rating is in half space. For that 92db rating, you substract 3db for anechoic....so 89db.

That said, both the Hsu and Ascend woofers have very good transient response, which, IMO, is more important than how loud they will play....especially at this size and pricepoint.
post #13 of 24
Some speaker manufacturers use a half space and in-room sensitivity spec but don't indicate that. They can also use 2.83v instead of watts and use the speaker's peak sensitive frequency point too. There is all kinds of ways to game the sensitivity spec. It's probably best not to trust the sensitivity spec until it is measured by a third party.
post #14 of 24
Since the Ascend products are also well reviewed...I'm thinking they should be on the short list...what about the Wave Crest HVL-1 as part of the Ascend family?
Especially since they are well within budget.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by RN2013 View Post

Since the Ascend products are also well reviewed...I'm thinking they should be on the short list...what about the Wave Crest HVL-1 as part of the Ascend family?
Especially since they are well within budget.
The HVL-1 isn't really part of the Ascend family other than being designed/engineered by David Fabrikant.
post #16 of 24
How would you describe the sound and strengths of the HVL1 compared to some of the other contenders in this thread?
post #17 of 24
For $500, I would go for the JBL LSR2328. Another good and very powerful speaker you ought to consider is the Klipsch RB-61. Those will both have great sound quality and be more powerful than the other speakers on your list.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by hi_fi82 View Post

Looking to upgrade my current system with new front channels and center. Have a budget of $500 for a 16' X 19' Room.

System will be used 100% for home theater.

Currently have: Wharfedale 9.4 + 9.CS Center, Premier Acoustics PA10W, Onkyo SR508.

Proposed Systems

Energy Take 5.0 $299

Polk TSi300 + CS10 $439

Infinity Primus 163BK + PC351 $470

PSB Alpha B1 + Image C4 $480

HSU HB-1 + HSU HC-1 $567

Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 + CS $600

CBM170SE + CMT-340 $646





The Primus system is only $380 on sale from Crutchfield.

If you live near a Fry's, they sometimes put the P163 on sale for $60.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by RN2013 View Post

How would you describe the sound and strengths of the HVL1 compared to some of the other contenders in this thread?
I will say that compared the Ascend SE line, it is slightly warmer presentation. Some may not think it is warm at all. We wanted a well balanced speaker, and I felt that the speakers that I heard in its price range, the midranges left some to be desired...some had good bass, some had good treble, some had both, but few were balanced from top to bottom.
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
-Marimba looks good
-Klipsch seems overpriced?

No comments on the Monitor Audio BX5? Are they better than the HSU, Ascend, and Swans? Any experience with the JBL L830?
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
How about the Arx A1b or A3c?
post #22 of 24
You said you were looking for a forward, dynamic sound, and nobody does that better than Klipsch. The Klipsch speakers have a very different tweeter than the others, it is a compression driver and has a far greater dynamic range any of these dome tweeters. I haven't heard those Monitor Audio speakers, however Monitor Audio have a reputation for a laid back sound, a 'British sound' like some of the other English speaker manufacturers are known for.
post #23 of 24
I think you will find that most of the major quality loudspeakers have their own loyal followers: http://www.soundadviceblog.com/sound-systems/super-home-theater-surround-sound-system-for-1250-complete/ at the end of the day, one of the bigger advantages of the internet brands is that you can narrow your choices down to 2 or 3 that seem to fit the bill, order them all at the same time, try them and then keep the pair that sounds most to your liking....and then report back what you found and what motivated your final decision.
post #24 of 24
I don't know about all of the brands that you listed, but the M3s & M22s prices 'include' shipping. Furthermore, B Stock can be had at 10% off & are virtually perfect cosmetically or there is an auction there as well for even more savings.

I have both models, all B Stock - M22s for HT & M3s for an audio only system. Both perform wonderfully in their roles...

TAM
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