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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Hi all, 

  I'm new to the audiophile world. I've always been in love with sound. I am an amateur pianist (been playing for 20 years now). The first thing I bought when I had the money was an acoustic piano because I couldn't stand the sound from my older digital piano (a fairly high end one). So I think I have it in me to be an audiophile. ;) 

 Like the title says, my wife just got a positive pregnancy test. This has spurred me to look for new speakers because among other things like my wife's nutrition, a primary responsibility that I have is to provide the developing baby a great sonic atmosphere. So I'm looking to buy a good set up mainly to play classical music and jazz. I will probably stick to a two channel stereo set up to get more bang for the buck. Being a student, I have a limited  budget of $1000 for everything included (speakers, amp/receiver, cd player, and misc stuff like speaker wires). I'll also need to get cd's since I currently have my music collection in mp3 format on my computer.

 Please make suggestions for complete systems because I know that there are certain speakers that work better with one kind of receiver than another. 

Here are is a shortlist that I've come up with for speakers (but I have very little idea what to pair them with in terms of amp/receiver). Some of these may be on the higher end leaving me little money for the other stuff that I will need but if it is really worth the money, I can come up with an extra couple of hundred bucks:

1.  Paradigm monitor 9 (10 years old,on Craigslist, I can get a pair for $250)

2. Infinity primus p363

3.  polk monitor 70 (newegg deal on dealsnews = $143/ea. Don't know if this deal has expired)

4.  pioneer spfs52 $129 ea on amazon

5. Boston Acoustics A 360

6.  B&W 683 (1 yr old) on CL for $1k / pair, trying to negotiate down a bit

7. KEF Q500 (around $850/pair)

8. Klipsch RF 62 II ($760/pair)

9. Klipsch RF 52 II ($560/pair)

10. Polk RTi A7 ($740/pair) or A5 for around $600/pair

I'm also looking at this combo:      Marantz CD5004 ($279) paired with the Marantz PM 5004 ($359) integrated amp

Also, are there any stores that typically offer great deals on Black Friday for the kinds of speakers mentioned on this list?

 

Thanks!
 

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My 2 cents. If you're really that sensitive to sound, you might not like anything that "cheap." But then again, there are many musicians that don't care that much either.



I'm pretty sensitive to sound too but there are systems that I can listen to over long periods despite being very aware of the sounds.


Based on your list and what other people have said about those speakers - I'd forget about the old Paradigms - better speakers now. A number of people have mentioned the inherent harshness of the Klipsch speakers. Many say that B&W's aren't a great bargain. Dennis Murphy (Philharmonic Audio/crossover designer) says the PS52's aren't good for complex classical music.


That should narrow your list some.....and others will come and add to it!
 

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Infinity Primus are very good speakers for the money. The Polks aren't bad either. Klipsch is overpriced and very bright (too bright for many people).

 

Other options are:

 

HSU Research - excellent speakers and they get rave reviews and lots of awards. Not too expensive either. They don't have floorstanding speakers that I'm aware of, but with a good sub (I'd also go HSU here) you won't need tower speakers.

Energy - I've heard great things.

BIC Acoustech - good speakers for the money and they get very loud if you're into loud. People say they sound similar to Klipsch with their brightness, and I say that's nonsense. They don't use compression drivers in their tweeters, which is what makes Klipsch so bright. They are maybe a bit brighter than average though.

Cambridge - very nice speakers as well

DIY?- check out Parts Express. They have some solid speakers and very good DIY subwoofer drivers, not all of which are sold only in DIY packs or by themselves. I'm going to be doing a DIY with either their 18" Ultimax driver when it comes out or their Reference 18" or possibly a Stereo Integrity 18".

 

If you aren't sure where to start, head to your nearest electronics store that sells some higher end speakers and demo a bunch of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Thanks for the suggestions so far, I'll try and audition some speakers this weekend and will report back! 
 

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I would say try to look around a little and listen to a few different speakers to see why you like. I've read some great things on different kinds of speakers and when I heard them was disappointed and found others that I really liked that I wasn't aware of before. Just to throw in my 2cents - some to check out in that price/size range - Wharfedale Diamond 10.4's.

Dynaudio has nice sounding speakers too but not sure on their cost these days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Unfortunately, I don't think there are many nice home audio shops around here other than best buy. So I'll certainly make a trip to BB, but I don't know what options they carry that I can demo there. 
 

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To save yourself from needing to replace them in 2 years, when you have no time for it - think about getting something you can put on a shelf or mount on the wall, out of reach of a speaker-tipping, tweeter-destroying 12-18 month old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzy_  /t/1500802/audiophile-newbie-pregnant-wife-need-new-set-up-recommendations#post_23984660


To save yourself from needing to replace them in 2 years, when you have no time for it - think about getting something you can put on a shelf or mount on the wall, out of reach of a speaker-tipping, tweeter-destroying 12-18 month old.
That is excellent advice. I myself was thinking about that. All my hours of research so far were focused on tower speakers. I'm too exhausted to research other kinds now. I might just replace them at that point or put them in storage. 

 

Btw, there seems to be a deal going on for BIC Acoustech PL-76 $279 for a pair. Thinking about snagging it based on the reviews.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by VS85  /t/1500802/audiophile-newbie-pregnant-wife-need-new-set-up-recommendations#post_23979125


Thanks for the suggestions so far, I'll try and audition some speakers this weekend and will report back!
That's the best way to do it if you can. The creeping disappearance of brick and mortar retailers has made it hard to be able to audition loudspeakers, but if you have a place where you can...by all means do!!! Only you know what you like, so pick what makes you happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Daemon  /t/1500802/audiophile-newbie-pregnant-wife-need-new-set-up-recommendations#post_23986486



That's the best way to do it if you can. The creeping disappearance of brick and mortar retailers has made it hard to be able to audition loudspeakers, but if you have a place where you can...by all means do!!! Only you know what you like, so pick what makes you happy.
I went to Best Buy here. The only ones they had hooked up were some Pioneer speakers. I couldn't even listen to them because they had hooked them up wrong! So it is quite hopeless. I'm going to have to buy speakers trusting reviews and opinions of folks here. 
 

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Where are you located?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Cleveland, OH
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by VS85  /t/1500802/audiophile-newbie-pregnant-wife-need-new-set-up-recommendations#post_23988161


I went to Best Buy here. The only ones they had hooked up were some Pioneer speakers. I couldn't even listen to them because they had hooked them up wrong! So it is quite hopeless. I'm going to have to buy speakers trusting reviews and opinions of folks here.
That's too bad, but an unfortunate reality for us all. I used to spend many happy hours hanging out at the local hi-fi boutique store listening to all their gear, and even bought something from time to time to justify my presence there. It's tough getting used to the idea of buying something as personal as that sight unseen, and the online commentary doesn't do much to make things better. You can't know for sure if someone's a shill...or just clueless...



At least Best Buy has a 30 day return policy. They don't carry anything I'd want to buy, but...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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If you can wait they may go even lower on black Friday unless they are already onsale.


Last year black Friday sale $477.00 Pair
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by losservatore  /t/1500802/audiophile-newbie-pregnant-wife-need-new-set-up-recommendations#post_23988872


If you can wait they may go even lower on black Friday unless they are already onsale.


Last year black Friday sale $477.00 Pair
 

They are already on sale (and this is their BF sale according to Emp Tek owners on this forum). So I don't think the price is going down any further than the $580/pair. $477 would be amazing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

After spending ages on the internet reading reviews, I finally pulled the trigger on a pair of Emp Tek e55ti's. The only bad comment I've read about them is the lack of bass coverage. However, I didn't want to order the matching subwoofer immediately (it's on sale for $199 now). I need the money to put into a Harmon Kardon 3490 stereo receiver (which is what a few other owners of these speakers recommend) as well as a cd player (unless I can just play cd's on an old JVC dvd player that I have). Another receiver I'm considering is the Onkyo TX8050. 

 

Any opinions regarding Onkyo TX8050 vs HK 3490 for these Emp Tek speakers?

 
 
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