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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a semi-new home owner, but I love music and quality sound. I enjoy higher quality sound than my budget allows, thus, I'm forced to locate those bang for buck options and stair-step upgrades. My Current HT Setup is as follows:
  • Denon AVR-1913 Reciever in 7.1
  • Dayton Audio B652 L/R
  • Energy Take Classic Center and Surrounds
  • BIC F12 Subwoofer



I find the Energy Takes to be adequate for surround duty, as we rarely watch movies. Its often TV, occasional Xbox/Wii/PC games, and lots of music and kid stuff. With that said, I do find the center and mains to be lackluster, and I want to upgrade them slightly. The B652s are great for the price I paid, but they were really just to help me get started. I'd like to move them to the garage for listening while I'm working on random things and upgrade them to something better.


The F12 also is a bit lackluster, GREAT for the money, but its not quite as tight as I'd like it for the amount of music we listen to on this system, but this also could be the fact that it doesn't blend that well with the mains. Regardless, I can't upgrade it at this time but was looking at the HSU

Cliff-notes, I want to upgrade the mains and I only have $200. (getting the matching center at a later date) I was looking at either the BIC FH6B, Energy CB-10s, Monitor Audio M1s, or the KEF C3. I CANNOT spend more than $200ish on this upgrade (unfortunately) but I believe either of these three are significantly better than what I have. I'm leaning towards the sets with the 6.5" woofer, because I think the music would benefit


Thoughts, recommendations, and name-calling are welcome.
 

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I would absolutely recommend the Def Tech SM350/450s from New Egg. There are frequently on sale for 170/pr (SM350) and 210/pr (SM450). I own both and they are very good speakers!
 

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+1 the Def Tech SM350/450s. Another good option in that price range is the Cambridge Audio S30 ($219 a pair). The only reason I mention it is it might be easier to find the matching center later (I believe the Def Tech's are discontinued).


Any of those speakers would sound very nice - though you might consider a Phantom Center set up until you can get your new center-speaker later.


For a good sub for music I think you might have to go to the $500-$600 budget range. But, lots of great options there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
These will be wall mounted as sort of a compromise between the wife and I. It also helps with the baby having nothing on the floor. (everything is wall mounted, hidden wires, AV equipment in a hall closet)


I like the look of the Def Tech SM350s. I've heard several def tech speakers that I thought sounded great, aside from the smaller lines, but I think that's more due to form factor. I actually found a used pair for $199, and I actually prefer used speakers.


The Cambridge Audio S30s look great too, and fit my budget. I haven't heard any of their audio. I'll see if I can some S30s locally to listen to.


For the pioneer bookshelfs, I'm weary of 4" woofer for mains, especially with a 12", lower end, subwoofer. I like the price of the pioneers though! Its a fairly big living room, that has an open wall to the kitchen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have several behringer products. Some are absolutely excellent for the money, some just okay. If those had a grill, I'd be all over em, but they sure are an eye sore!!! lol
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSIMonster  /t/1470580/bookshelf-speaker-recommendation#post_23261805


For the pioneer bookshelfs, I'm weary of 4" woofer for mains, especially with a 12", lower end, subwoofer.

Sub size has little to do with it.


NHT SuperZeros sound great and are in your budget. But may be too small if your room is large as you say.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSIMonster  /t/1470580/bookshelf-speaker-recommendation#post_23261805


For the pioneer bookshelfs, I'm weary of 4" woofer for mains, especially with a 12", lower end, subwoofer. I like the price of the pioneers though! Its a fairly big living room, that has an open wall to the kitchen.

You are right in that larger drivers can offer some benefits, but don't base your decision on the RW-12d size. The Pioneers would be an upgrade over the Energy Takes, and the Pioneer bookshelves and matching center extend low enough to work well with an 80hz crossover setting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I realize that there is a lot involved in the mids and bass you can get from a speaker, but I do find that woofer size plays a large part in that. I have a pair of studio monitors in the studio with 5 inch woofers, and they sound better than the 6.5" on the daytons. Generally speaking though, bigger woofer, to some extent, accounts for better mids/mid lows, no?


The NHT SuperZeros look nice. I'll get some measurements and viewing distances tonight.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145  /t/1470580/bookshelf-speaker-recommendation#post_23262605


You are right in that larger drivers can offer some benefits, but don't base your decision on the RW-12d size. The Pioneers would be an upgrade over the Energy Takes, and the Pioneer bookshelves and matching center extend low enough to work well with an 80hz crossover setting.

I'll see if I can find some to give them a listen.


Also, the energy takes, sound terrible at anything other than surrounds IMO. I think they sound tinny, and don't have enough bass mids to transition well as mains. Tried it for half a second, even let the audyssey XT on my 1712 I had at the time give it a shot. The Daytons sound much better than the take classics as mains, overall. I never bought them with the intention of being mains in the living room though. I got the take 5.0 set at an autction for an incredible price, and intended to use them in a bedroom. We have since removed all electronics from the bedroom and thats how they wound up as surrounds.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSIMonster  /t/1470580/bookshelf-speaker-recommendation#post_23262615


I realize that there is a lot involved in the mids and bass you can get from a speaker, but I do find that woofer size plays a large part in that. I have a pair of studio monitors in the studio with 5 inch woofers, and they sound better than the 6.5" on the daytons. Generally speaking though, bigger woofer, to some extent, accounts for better mids/mid lows, no?


The NHT SuperZeros look nice. I'll get some measurements and viewing distances tonight.

I'll see if I can find some to give them a listen.

Yes. A bigger driver can be helpful for better midbass.


The disadvantage of the SuperZeros is that they have a roll off above 80hz. You likely need to set the crossover to 90hz or 100hz.


BestBuy carries the Pioneers. You might can listen to them there, although it's not the most conducive environment for judging speakers.
 

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+1 re the SuperZeros.


I know the Cambridge Audio S30 goes low enough to easily handle an 80hz crossover (I own a pair), and based on reviews/specs I would guess the same is true for the Pioneer.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145  /t/1470580/bookshelf-speaker-recommendation#post_23261395


Newegg put the Pioneer Andrew Jones speakers on sale through 5/1 ( see the note in the Pioneer owners thread ). Your budget would allow for getting either a pair of bookshelves and the center, or one pair of the towers.


Here's a review of that speaker line: http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/speakers/floorstanding/pioneer-sp-pk52fs

+1 These actually sound much better than the price would suggest, and I HAVE heard them personally, and compared to many higher end sets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I really appreciate the responses! I have an idea of where to look now! Looks like my daytons are getting the boot soon enough! Woohoo


I'm hoping the next speaker purchase will tie me over until I move in the next year or so. We're looking now, but we can't move for AT LEAST another year.


I really like the NHTs the best so far. I haven't ruled out the S30s or the Pioneers though. What are the general opinions on Energy's mid-range line (CB20s), if you don't mind me asking
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, I sold the Energy Take 5 set on Amazon yesterday for about $20 more than I paid for it. Now I have money for a center too! Woot!
 

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I would definitely say that the KEF speakers are by far the best, but unless you know of some used ones, they are out of your price range.


The Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 speakers are $350 per pair, and those are what I would recommend. They are excellent for their price (see the Stereophile review of them).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman  /t/1470580/bookshelf-speaker-recommendation#post_23271804


I would definitely say that the KEF speakers are by far the best, but unless you know of some used ones, they are out of your price range.


The Wharfedale Diamond 10.1 speakers are $350 per pair, and those are what I would recommend. They are excellent for their price (see the Stereophile review of them).

These are the KEFs I had looked at:

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/KEFC3BLK/KEF-C3-Two-Way-5-Bookshelf-Speakers-Pair-Black/1.html


They have some bad reviews though http://www.whathifi.com/Review/KEF-C3/
 
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