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post #1 of 50 Old 11-15-2017, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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help! need advice on new speakers

Hi, whew, I'm so glad I found this forum. Trying to research speakers online has me totally confused. Let me introduce myself as the worst kind of audiophile. I love quality sound, but have no idea how it is produced. And I don't have a lot of money to spend to get it.

For many years I was happy with my Sony SS-MF315 speakers, Sony STR DE197 receiver and Sony CDP-C235 CD player. Then I blew out the speakers one New Year's Eve (it wasn't THAT loud) and had them repaired, only to blow them out again. I just need to get new speakers......but what?

My receiver is hooked up to my TV, but I don't really care about TV/movie sound, nor do I play video games. I'm passionate about music....rock, classical, musicals, blues, reggae, punk, funk, folk, bluegrass, international......you name it. Mainly CDs and YouTube links. My laptop is wired to my receiver by a long cord. (Kinda wish I had portable speakers for my iphone, but that's probably another product.) To replace my old speakers that conked out, I assume I'm looking for "passive" speakers with "bare wire" connections. Some good speakers seem to be out there in my price range (under $300), but I'm confused on brand differences. Could someone help with that?

I'm hoping for stunning clarity. Not too "bright" (treble.) If anything I like bass that holds true, clear and strong. I tend to use my receiver's "bass boost." I'd rather not have to buy a sub-woofer.

I was looking at the Polk RTiA3 speakers and Klipsch Reference 5 1/4's. But a review said the Klipsch speakers are really "bright." I would not like too much treble. Audioengine P4's? I don't know. Trying to choose speakers online is like trying to choose perfume by sound or a book by touch.

I'm hoping some of you audiophiles may be generous enough to offer expertise even as I'm on the low end of stereo component sophistication. If you could just point me in the right direction and tell me why, that would be a big help.

Thank you so much for any advice you can offer!

creekgirl
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post #2 of 50 Old 11-15-2017, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by creekgirl View Post
Hi, whew, I'm so glad I found this forum. Trying to research speakers online has me totally confused. Let me introduce myself as the worst kind of audiophile. I love quality sound, but have no idea how it is produced. And I don't have a lot of money to spend to get it.

For many years I was happy with my Sony SS-MF315 speakers, Sony STR DE197 receiver and Sony CDP-C235 CD player. Then I blew out the speakers one New Year's Eve (it wasn't THAT loud) and had them repaired, only to blow them out again. I just need to get new speakers......but what?

My receiver is hooked up to my TV, but I don't really care about TV/movie sound, nor do I play video games. I'm passionate about music....rock, classical, musicals, blues, reggae, punk, funk, folk, bluegrass, international......you name it. Mainly CDs and YouTube links. My laptop is wired to my receiver by a long cord. (Kinda wish I had portable speakers for my iphone, but that's probably another product.) To replace my old speakers that conked out, I assume I'm looking for "passive" speakers with "bare wire" connections. Some good speakers seem to be out there in my price range (under $300), but I'm confused on brand differences. Could someone help with that?

I'm hoping for stunning clarity. Not too "bright" (treble.) If anything I like bass that holds true, clear and strong. I tend to use my receiver's "bass boost." I'd rather not have to buy a sub-woofer.

I was looking at the Polk RTiA3 speakers and Klipsch Reference 5 1/4's. But a review said the Klipsch speakers are really "bright." I would not like too much treble. Audioengine P4's? I don't know. Trying to choose speakers online is like trying to choose perfume by sound or a book by touch.

I'm hoping some of you audiophiles may be generous enough to offer expertise even as I'm on the low end of stereo component sophistication. If you could just point me in the right direction and tell me why, that would be a big help.

Thank you so much for any advice you can offer!

creekgirl
I am thinking that in your budget and with your likes you might want to try the Philharmonic AA monitor speakers made by Dennis Murphy. .. another speaker to think about might be the KEF Q100. ... both are good choices for most people. .. another speaker you might think about is the q acoustics 3020.... i am sure you will get other good ideas from other members .. good luck .. happy shopping
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post #3 of 50 Old 11-15-2017, 09:10 PM
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This is a crazy good price for a good set of bookshelf speakers from Cambridge Audio, they will have some nice balanced sound and clarity with some good bass. They are clearly in a higher league over your Sony speakers and would be an ear opener. Cambridge Audio SX60
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-pair/1.html
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post #4 of 50 Old 11-15-2017, 09:23 PM
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I would stay away from Audioengines, regardless of your sound signature preference. If you don't like bright, I'd stay away from Klipsch as well. I find KEFs to be a bit bright, too, but that's not universal.

The Philharmonic AA monitors (http://philharmonicaudio.com/aa.html) are, by all accounts, outstanding for the bargain-basement price ($210 + shipping). You might also consider the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170SE (http://ascendacoustics.com/pages/pro...70/cbm170.html). Both of these are nicely neutral (neither overly bright or overly warm) with good bass extension.

If you want a warmer sound (i.e., more emphasis on bass), I'd consider the Wharfdale Diamond 10.1 or 10.2 (Amazon sells these).

Other speakers you'll see recommended in your price range are the Emotiva B1, the QAcoustics 3020, and the NHT SuperZero. I would avoid these unless you plan on having a sub (which you say you don't) as they don't have particularly good bass extension.
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post #5 of 50 Old 11-15-2017, 09:40 PM
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i forgot the wharfedale 10.1s.. they are outstanding speakers with great bass and have a lot of warmth .. not bright at all.. the kef q100's are maybe a little bright but it's easily eq'ed out .. they have just enough bass to keep most people happy .. and yes i am listening to a pair right now ..albeit with sub..i own the wharfedale 10.1s also .. they really do have great bass for 5" drivers...

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r Dennis Murphy modded emotiva b1's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... infinity alpha 20 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. ascend cbm 170 se... kef q100 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #6 of 50 Old 11-15-2017, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creekgirl View Post

I'm hoping for stunning clarity. Not too "bright" (treble.) If anything I like bass that holds true, clear and strong. I tend to use my receiver's "bass boost." I'd rather not have to buy a sub-woofer.

...

Trying to choose speakers online is like trying to choose perfume by sound or a book by touch.
If near a Best Buy (magnolia room, ideally) or some other audio place, I suggest simply going there and listening to a bunch of speakers. Figure out which your ears like.

My first thought was the Philharmonic AAs, as has been mentioned. But I'm not sure how you define 'stunning clarity'. To some, that may be leaning bright (but not Klipsch-like, ear piercing brightness).

Try out Klipsch Rp, Polk Signatures, Sony Cores, SM 45s, and whatever else they may have at your BB.

I'm guessing even a little BasX8 sub at $200 is out of the question?
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post #7 of 50 Old 11-15-2017, 10:41 PM
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If near a Best Buy (magnolia room, ideally) or some other audio place, I suggest simply going there and listening to a bunch of speakers. Figure out which your ears like.

My first thought was the Philharmonic AAs, as has been mentioned. But I'm not sure how you define 'stunning clarity'. To some, that may be leaning bright (but not Klipsch-like, ear piercing brightness).

Try out Klipsch Rp, Polk Signatures, Sony Cores, SM 45s, and whatever else they may have at your BB.

I'm guessing even a little BasX8 sub at $200 is out of the question?
"stunning clarity" would be the reason i recommended the q100's

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r Dennis Murphy modded emotiva b1's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... infinity alpha 20 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. ascend cbm 170 se... kef q100 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #8 of 50 Old 11-15-2017, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by creekgirl View Post
I'm hoping for stunning clarity. Not too "bright" (treble.) If anything I like bass that holds true, clear and strong. I tend to use my receiver's "bass boost." I'd rather not have to buy a sub-woofer.

I was looking at the Polk RTiA3 speakers and Klipsch Reference 5 1/4's. But a review said the Klipsch speakers are really "bright." I would not like too much treble. Audioengine P4's? I don't know. Trying to choose speakers online is like trying to choose perfume by sound or a book by touch.
You were correct to avoid Klipsch if you want a warmer, less aggressive-treble presentation. The Polk RTi are also on the bright side. Audioengine I generally find to be overhyped, overpriced, and underwhelming.

The Wharfedales 10.1 that were previously recommended would be an excellent choice, they do need at least a foot of rear clearance but for most genres of music you will not need a subwoofer at all. They especially excel with voices, horns, and strings...lush and laid back, you can listen for hours without any ear strain.

Couple of reviews:
https://www.stereophile.com/content/...01-loudspeaker
https://www.cnet.com/news/wharfedale...on-the-planet/

The Q Acoustics 3020 would also be worth a listen, they are more neutral than the Wharfedales but have a touch of warmth...however if you are going without a subwoofer I'd still take the Wharfedales.

Here's a multi-speaker review I wrote 2 years ago that included the QA and Wharfedales and some other speakers:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-spe...e-diamond.html
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post #9 of 50 Old 11-15-2017, 11:12 PM
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The Sony Core bookshelves, at their unbelievable current $73/pair sale price would also be worth considering but I would definitely add the $200 Emotiva S8 subwoofer with them.
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~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #10 of 50 Old 11-15-2017, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Lp85253 View Post
"stunning clarity" would be the reason i recommended the q100's
But wouldn't they also need a sub, at least ideally?

I think that could be a problem the OP may run into.

Stunning clarity + good bass, all without a sub. Unless we are talking about towers (and that would be over $300), I'm not entirely sure what qualifies.

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post #11 of 50 Old 11-16-2017, 09:17 AM
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The Sony Core bookshelves, at their unbelievable current $73/pair sale price would also be worth considering but I would definitely add the $200 Emotiva S8 subwoofer with them.
x2.. but i was scared to rec without the sub...

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r Dennis Murphy modded emotiva b1's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... infinity alpha 20 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. ascend cbm 170 se... kef q100 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #12 of 50 Old 11-16-2017, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow, thank you! That's a lot of recommendations, and I guess it is hard to tell which to choose. More info to work with:

---I can spend up to $300.

---talked to my sister and she thinks I should consider getting a sub-woofer. She loves hers, but she uses her sound system mainly for TV and movies, while I'm more into music, if that makes any difference.

---by "stunning clarity" I mean, if a pin dropped, I hope I can hear it. I treasure sound quality subtleties like the reverberation of a piano wire in Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" or when a singer takes a tiny breath or be able to sense the size of recording studio by faint hint of echo.

As a teenager I was friends with a guy whose dad was the sound manager for outdoor rock concerts, and he used to sneak us into his dad's business after hours to listen to Pink Floyd and such from what must have been some of the best sound equipment of the times. Thus I became an audiophile......though without technical sophistication or budget to match my taste!

Does this help narrow choices down at all?

thanks,

creekgirl
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post #13 of 50 Old 11-16-2017, 09:26 AM
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But wouldn't they also need a sub, at least ideally?

I think that could be a problem the OP may run into.

Stunning clarity + good bass, all without a sub. Unless we are talking about towers (and that would be over $300), I'm not entirely sure what qualifies.
"need" .. uhm.. well ya.. some people yes ,some no... it depends on the person & whether they rate stunning clarity or bass response higher.. if i was buying , knowing what i know for now... 100% of the time i am picking something like cores +a basx8 over cheap towers or bloated low end bookshelf's ....of what i have heard the q100s come as close as anything i have heard to decent bass and great clarity .. the 10.1s have a great low end , if clarity is secondary the 10'1s are awesome..... i think , going by what i hear secondarily the aa's are probably EXACTLY what the OP wants ... but that is an educated guess

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r Dennis Murphy modded emotiva b1's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... infinity alpha 20 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. ascend cbm 170 se... kef q100 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #14 of 50 Old 11-16-2017, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by creekgirl View Post
Wow, thank you! That's a lot of recommendations, and I guess it is hard to tell which to choose. More info to work with:

---I can spend up to $300.

---talked to my sister and she thinks I should consider getting a sub-woofer. She loves hers, but she uses her sound system mainly for TV and movies, while I'm more into music, if that makes any difference.

---by "stunning clarity" I mean, if a pin dropped, I hope I can hear it. I treasure sound quality subtleties like the reverberation of a piano wire in Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" or when a singer takes a tiny breath or be able to sense the size of recording studio by faint hint of echo.

As a teenager I was friends with a guy whose dad was the sound manager for outdoor rock concerts, and he used to sneak us into his dad's business after hours to listen to Pink Floyd and such from what must have been some of the best sound equipment of the times. Thus I became an audiophile......though without technical sophistication or budget to match my taste!

Does this help narrow choices down at all?

thanks,

creekgirl
hi .. if i was you i would try the sony core's from best buy $73 / pair on sale (they go back on sale soon) and the $200 emotiva basx8 from the amazon on line store..if you want to dis the sub the AA PHILHARMONICS from Dennis Murphy or the Wharfedale 10.1s are probably your best bet... if you can up your budget a little you could grab the kef q100s($300) and a little yamaha sub you could get from amazon for about $100... the kefs do have stunning clarity , but the bass is a little thin..but they alone will be ok for lots of different music for most people...

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r Dennis Murphy modded emotiva b1's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... infinity alpha 20 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. ascend cbm 170 se... kef q100 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #15 of 50 Old 11-16-2017, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by creekgirl View Post
---by "stunning clarity" I mean, if a pin dropped, I hope I can hear it. I treasure sound quality subtleties like the reverberation of a piano wire in Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" or when a singer takes a tiny breath or be able to sense the size of recording studio by faint hint of echo.

As a teenager I was friends with a guy whose dad was the sound manager for outdoor rock concerts, and he used to sneak us into his dad's business after hours to listen to Pink Floyd and such from what must have been some of the best sound equipment of the times. Thus I became an audiophile......though without technical sophistication or budget to match my taste!
Hard to do both speaker and sub at $300

Both of these choices will allow you to save up for a sub, while getting some nice bass for now.

Philharmonic AA would be the my first choice, and they are voiced by a musician -- you will get the clarity and detail for the price, with some good rich deep bass.

Second choice is the Cambridge SX60, you will also get some good rich detail and some good nice bass for a bookshelf.
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post #16 of 50 Old 11-16-2017, 10:22 AM
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Hard to do both speaker and sub at $300

Both of these choices will allow you to save up for a sub, while getting some nice bass for now.

Philharmonic AA would be the my first choice, and they are voiced by a musician -- you will get the clarity and detail for the price, with some good rich deep bass.

Second choice is the Cambridge SX60, you will also get some good rich detail and some good nice bass for a bookshelf.
just curious .. the sx60 sounds like a great speaker , but every speaker at this price has some weaknesses , what would you say the sx60's weakness might be ?

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r Dennis Murphy modded emotiva b1's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... infinity alpha 20 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. ascend cbm 170 se... kef q100 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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just curious .. the sx60 sounds like a great speaker , but every speaker at this price has some weaknesses , what would you say the sx60's weakness might be ?
Yes every speaker has a somewhat weakness, even many that cost much more -- as there is no perfect speaker. With the Cambridge, while not being harsh, sharp, or edgy, it may not be as smooth and refined as some. However, they will be an ear opener compared to the low entry level Sony that the OP owns. The Cambridge can give you a good taste of the higher-end sound, they are articulate and cohesive sounding with no mushy, boomy, and wooly bass. The designers are good at port tunning. With all these speakers at the OP's price range the differences will be small, it mainly comes sdown to some nit-picking, that for most people is minor. The $80 price drop from AC4L is a real good deal for sure.
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post #18 of 50 Old 11-16-2017, 10:46 AM
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Yes every speaker has a somewhat weakness, even many that cost much more -- as there is no perfect speaker. With the Cambridge, while not being harsh, sharp, or edgy, it may not be as smooth and refined as some. However, they will be an ear opener compared to the low entry level Sony that the OP owns. The Cambridge can give you a good taste of the higher-end sound, they are articulate and cohesive sounding with no mushy, boomy, and wooly bass. The designers are good at port tunning. With all these speakers at the OP's price range the differences will be small, it mainly comes sdown to some nit-picking, that for most people is minor. At the $80 price drop from AC4L is a real good deal for sure.
thanks .. i will dedicate that to memory.. sounds like the tweeter may be similar to the 2020i for overall quality but the rest of the speaker is warmer/less forward / better?

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r Dennis Murphy modded emotiva b1's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... infinity alpha 20 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. ascend cbm 170 se... kef q100 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #19 of 50 Old 11-16-2017, 10:57 AM
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thanks .. i will dedicate that to memory.. sounds like the tweeter may be similar to the 2020i for overall quality but the rest of the speaker is warmer/less forward / better?
The Cambridge S series speakers are not really voiced to be bright or stand out in a showroom. I owned the Cambridge S30, and the SX is the next series. The Cambridge tweeters are more clean and smooth compared to the QA 2020i tweeter.
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post #20 of 50 Old 11-16-2017, 11:01 AM
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The Cambridge S series speakers are not really voiced to be bright or stand out in a showroom. I owned the Cambridge S30, and the SX is the next series. The Cambridge tweeters are more clean and smooth compared to the QA 2020i tweeter.
that's sounds like a pretty impressive speaker at that price...

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r Dennis Murphy modded emotiva b1's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... infinity alpha 20 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. ascend cbm 170 se... kef q100 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #21 of 50 Old 11-16-2017, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by creekgirl View Post
Wow, thank you! That's a lot of recommendations, and I guess it is hard to tell which to choose. More info to work with:

---I can spend up to $300.

---talked to my sister and she thinks I should consider getting a sub-woofer. She loves hers, but she uses her sound system mainly for TV and movies, while I'm more into music, if that makes any difference.

---by "stunning clarity" I mean, if a pin dropped, I hope I can hear it. I treasure sound quality subtleties like the reverberation of a piano wire in Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" or when a singer takes a tiny breath or be able to sense the size of recording studio by faint hint of echo.

As a teenager I was friends with a guy whose dad was the sound manager for outdoor rock concerts, and he used to sneak us into his dad's business after hours to listen to Pink Floyd and such from what must have been some of the best sound equipment of the times. Thus I became an audiophile......though without technical sophistication or budget to match my taste!

Does this help narrow choices down at all?

thanks,

creekgirl
If you want this ^^^, these Focal Aria would certainly come pretty close. I'm fully aware they are above your stated budget, but would definitely be worth every dollar.
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...te-pair/1.html
Alternatively, these original $800 MSRP Canton's would be a good choice and a great bargain.
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-pair/1.html
Most bookshelf speakers in this price range would greatly benefit from the addition of a sub. Since your main use is music, something like this $100 Yamaha would work.
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...r-black/1.html
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Kef LS50,Q200C, Q100, Kef Kube 10B (X2) , Denon AVR-X3400H, NAD 216 THX, Panasonic 50" Plasma, Xbox One.
Bedroom: Kef Q100 ,JBL Loft 20, SVS SB-2000, Denon AVR-S710W, PS3, 32" Insigna LED.
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post #22 of 50 Old 11-16-2017, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creekgirl View Post
---I can spend up to $300.

---talked to my sister and she thinks I should consider getting a sub-woofer. She loves hers, but she uses her sound system mainly for TV and movies, while I'm more into music, if that makes any difference.

---by "stunning clarity" I mean, if a pin dropped, I hope I can hear it. I treasure sound quality subtleties like the reverberation of a piano wire in Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" or when a singer takes a tiny breath or be able to sense the size of recording studio by faint hint of echo.
In that case, just pick up a pair of those Sony Core bookshelves for $73 shipped from Amazon (your local Best Buy will price match) and the $200 Emotiva S8 subwoofer, for $273 you'll have exactly what you described above (assuming you are not in the habit of blasting your speakers to wall shaking volumes which the Sonys wouldn't really be good at).

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/sony-co...?skuId=5721014

https://emotiva.com/product/basx-s8/
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~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #23 of 50 Old 11-16-2017, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pase22 View Post
If you want this ^^^, these Focal Aria would certainly come pretty close. I'm fully aware they are above your stated budget, but would definitely be worth every dollar.
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...te-pair/1.html
Alternatively, these original $800 MSRP Canton's would be a good choice and a great bargain.
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-pair/1.html
Most bookshelf speakers in this price range would greatly benefit from the addition of a sub. Since your main use is music, something like this $100 Yamaha would work.
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...r-black/1.html
well stated...

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r Dennis Murphy modded emotiva b1's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... infinity alpha 20 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. ascend cbm 170 se... kef q100 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #24 of 50 Old 11-16-2017, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creekgirl View Post
Hi, whew, I'm so glad I found this forum. Trying to research speakers online has me totally confused. Let me introduce myself as the worst kind of audiophile. I love quality sound, but have no idea how it is produced. And I don't have a lot of money to spend to get it.

For many years I was happy with my Sony SS-MF315 speakers, Sony STR DE197 receiver and Sony CDP-C235 CD player. Then I blew out the speakers one New Year's Eve (it wasn't THAT loud) and had them repaired, only to blow them out again. I just need to get new speakers......but what?

My receiver is hooked up to my TV, but I don't really care about TV/movie sound, nor do I play video games. I'm passionate about music....rock, classical, musicals, blues, reggae, punk, funk, folk, bluegrass, international......you name it. Mainly CDs and YouTube links. My laptop is wired to my receiver by a long cord. (Kinda wish I had portable speakers for my iphone, but that's probably another product.) To replace my old speakers that conked out, I assume I'm looking for "passive" speakers with "bare wire" connections. Some good speakers seem to be out there in my price range (under $300), but I'm confused on brand differences. Could someone help with that?

I'm hoping for stunning clarity. Not too "bright" (treble.) If anything I like bass that holds true, clear and strong. I tend to use my receiver's "bass boost." I'd rather not have to buy a sub-woofer.

I was looking at the Polk RTiA3 speakers and Klipsch Reference 5 1/4's. But a review said the Klipsch speakers are really "bright." I would not like too much treble. Audioengine P4's? I don't know. Trying to choose speakers online is like trying to choose perfume by sound or a book by touch.

I'm hoping some of you audiophiles may be generous enough to offer expertise even as I'm on the low end of stereo component sophistication. If you could just point me in the right direction and tell me why, that would be a big help.

Thank you so much for any advice you can offer!

creekgirl
AVS FAVORITES: BOOKSHELF SPEAKER PAIRS WITH >4.9" MAIN DRIVER AND UNDER $500 MSRP, (**equals free returns)

NOTES: >note that most speakers do not actually reach within 10hz of their stated bass extension; check pro reviews

>check center speakr prices before choosing a pair for a surround system as some companies have VERY high prices for centers

MSRP PORT? H/W/D ROUNDED TO NEAREST INCH

$60 SEALED 12X7X7 2 way 6.5" [70hz] DAYTON AUDIO B652-AIR

$149 REAR 11X7X9 3 way 5" [53hz] SONY CORE SSCS5, often 50% off Best Buy**

$150 SEALED 14X7X5 2 way 5.5" [100hz] JBL ARENA 120/ARENA B15 (B15 often on sale)**

$170 REAR 9X6X9 2 way 5.25" [50hz] CAMBRIDGE AUDIO MINX XL Accessories4less pice

$175 REAR 10x7x11 2 way 5" [64hz] Q ACOUSTICS 2020i, often 10% off Q Acoustics website

$200 FRONT 14X8X11 2 way 6.5" [41hz] CAMBRIDGE AUDIO SX60 Accessories4less pice

$230 REAR 12x8x10 2 way 5.25" [50hz] POLK SIGNATURE 15, often 10% off Best Buy**

$219 FRONT 12X7X10 2 way 5.25" [60hz] HTD LEVEL TWO**

$225 REAR 15X9X11 2 way 7" [55hz] JBL ARENA 130**

$235 REAR 14X9X11 2 way 6.5" [48hz] PHILHARMONIC AUDIO AFFORDABLE ACCURACY MONITOR

$249 REAR 12x8x11 2 way 5" [48hz] WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 10.1, Music Direct Price

$290 REAR 10x7x9 2 way 5" [64hz] Q ACOUSTICS 3020i, often 10% off Q Acoustics website

$299 REAR 11X7X8 2 way 5.25" [48hz] EMOTIVA AIRMOTIV B1

$299 REAR 14x9x12 2 way 6.5" [40hz] WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 10.2, Music Direct Price

$300 REAR 12X7X10 2 way 6" [33hz] CANTON GLS 2 Accessories4less pice

$300 REAR 15X9X14 2 way 6.5" [39hz] POLK SIGNATURE 20, often 10% off Best Buy**

$300 DOWN 13X7X10 2 way 5.125" [56hz] WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 220, often 10% off Best Buy**

$300 FRONT 12X7X1 2 way 5.25" [49hz] KEF Q100 limited time closeout price

$300 REAR 12X7X10 2 way 5.25" [65hz] PSB ALPHA B1

$319 FRONT 16X9X12 2 way 6.5" [47hz] HTD LEVEL THREE**

$322 SEALED 11X7X6 2 way 2 X 4" [74hz] ASCEND ACOUSTICS HTM 200 SE

$330 REAR 12X9X10 2 way 6.5" [58hz] ASCEND ACOUSTICS CBM 170 SE

$330 REAR 13X7X10 2 way 5.3" [50hz] CHANE A 1.4

$349 REAR 12X7X8 2 way 5.25" [75hz] APERION INTIMUS 5B**

$350 SEALED 11X7X8 2 way 6.5" [56hz] NHT SUPERONE 2.1

$376 REAR 15X8X9 2 way 6.5" [60hz] HSU HB1

$399 FRONT 12X8X9 2 way 5" [65hz] FOCALCHORUS 705 Music Direct Price

$400 FRONT 12X8X9 2 way 5.5" [65hz] FOCAL CHORUS 605 2 Accessories4less pice

$400 FRONT 6X16X6 2 way 2 X 4" [85hz] RSL CG 23**

$400 REAR 10X7X8 2 way 5.5" [55hz] MONITOR AUDIO BRONZE 1

$400 REAR 15X9X11 2 way 6.5" [52hz] JBL STUDIO 230**

$400 REAR 12x7x12 2 way 5.25" [35hz] DEFINITIVE TECHNOLOGY SM45, often 10% off at Crutchfield

$420 REAR 15x8x11 2 way 5.25" [48hz] KLIPSCH RP 150M, often 10% off Best Buy, Crutchfield

$450 DOWN 14X7X12 2 way 6.5" [45hz] WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 225, often 10% off Best Buy**

$480 REAR 11x7x10 2 way 5.25" [60hz] MARTIN LOGAN LX16 Crutchfield limited time price

$499 REAR 13X8X11 2 way 5" [40hz] WHARFEDALE DENTON Music Direct Price

$500 FRONT 14X8X10 2 way 6.5" [42hz] MONITOR AUDIO BRONZE 2

$500 REAR 12X7X11 2 way 5.25" [55hz] PSB IMAGE XB

$500 FRONT 13X8X10 2 way 5" [60hz] FOCAL ARIA 905 2 Accessories4less pice

$500 SEALED 10X6X8 2 way 5.25 [70hz] NHT C1

$500 REAR 13X8X10 2 way 6.5" [48hz] SVS PRIME BOOKSHELF**

$500 REAR 10x7x11 2 way 5" [64hz] Q ACOUSTICS CONCEPT 20i, often 10% off Q Acoustics website

$500 REAR 13X8X11 3 way 5.25" [46hz] ELAC UNIFI UB5, often 10% off Best Buy**

Geoff A. J., California
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post #25 of 50 Old 11-16-2017, 02:44 PM
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I've seen my Infinity SM-122 (aka: SM-125) towers for a good price. They are awesome for what you are seeking. The 12" woofers will handle the bass quite well unless you have a large room where a sub would be needed.


They go for $200 on EBay with local pickup.


You'd be surprised but Infinity SM speakers appear on craigslist a lot. So check there also.

Denon 4300 receiver. Infinity speaker setup (SM line which is SM-122 up front an SM-82 in the rear and ceiling) along with a center channel (not SM line but maybe I should swap it out). Xbox One S source for Blu Ray and 4K blu Ray. Sony XBR850B.
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-di...-24-hours.html
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post #26 of 50 Old 11-16-2017, 03:06 PM
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The Kef Q100 at $300 is a fantastic deal. What everyone has said about them is absolutely true. These are "last year's model" of the Kef Q-series, and they used to sell for $550. Their replacement, the Q150, does sell for $550. The new model has a host of improvements...but they aren't something I would pay $250 extra for, given the option of the cheaper Q100.

Based on what you've said, I would advocate the application of patience. Your budget today is $300. What will it be next year? Maybe get the Kefs now, and use them subless until you can scrape together the funds for a BasX 8. Or maybe you'll find their bass response adequate for your needs.

Do you need speakers for entertaining others? Because a budget of $300 on headphones opens up a whole new realm of possibilities. My current headphone obsession is the Denon AH-C820 earbuds ($200). Review here.

The only other thing I can think of is the speakers that got me through college: the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1. They cost $150 new, but I bet you could find them much cheaper now. They're a sub with speakers setup, intended for use with computers, with a very nice sound for the money. They won't have the clarity of the KEFs, but maybe they could tide you over until your financial situation allows you to better scratch that itch.

Last edited by ballantyne; 11-16-2017 at 03:10 PM. Reason: Expansion
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post #27 of 50 Old 11-17-2017, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you so much, guys. In further researching your recommendations, I came across a speaker comparison in AVSForums by bclark8923. I can't post the link, but it is listed as speakers topic 2233954.

Sounded to me like the Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 or the Elac B6 might offer the clarity I want, plus a strong bass. Ratings on Amazon were excellent for both, but I always read the lesser star reviews and somebody complained that the Elacs look cheap. Should the looks matter? I'm not sure. I'm really most interested in quality of sound. (Both are brands I'd never heard of before AVSForum!)

Any comments on the Wharfedale Diamond 10.2 or Elac B6?

thanks,

creekgirl
PS all this has caused me to reflect on my genetic relationship to music and audio: My dad's father's hobby was short-wave radio, his cousin built a radio for Charles Lindbergh to take on his famous Atlantic flight, but Lindbergh ditched it before take-off as too heavy! My dad's mom's family was many generations of musicians, first violinists, etc. going back to the Czech composer Benda. My dad's uncle was a Swing Era bandleader who, to save money on sheet music, would listen to recordings and write down every note for every instrument in the band! My sister built a short-wave radio from a Radio Shack kit at age 10. My mom's mom taught piano. (Me....I'm an artist, but my dream was to be a dancer, to actually become the music!) I mention all this cause I may not have a lot of money to spend, but I think I do have a genetic predisposition to appreciate great quality sound!
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post #28 of 50 Old 11-17-2017, 04:04 PM
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I own the Elac B6 and the KEF Q100. No contest for clarity -- KEF Q100.
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post #29 of 50 Old 11-17-2017, 07:44 PM
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I own the Elac B6 and the KEF Q100. No contest for clarity -- KEF Q100.
Consider the JBL 500 series studio bookshelf. It is warmer than klipsch and the RtiA3 and has more power than most of the others mentioned above. Also I would not pass on the RTiA3. The tweeter may be a little bright but A3's are from a good, accurate, powerful line of speakers.
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post #30 of 50 Old 11-18-2017, 12:49 AM
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B&O is a good choice except the price.

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