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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

It is obviously my first time, and first post on, these forums. I am quite an audio newbie.
For the last 10 years I have had the same pair of secondhand speakers and amp running my TV system. Recently, they broke.

I now have a replacement receiver. But, I am yet to get a new pair of bookshelf speakers. I will probably not have a sub for the foreseeable future... maybe one day - in 30 years - when I get paid more.

Now, I am aware that the best way to buy speakers is to listen to them and choose the ones that sound the best to you. Sadly, I live in the middle of no-where. There is a zero percent chance that I can listen to these speakers before I order them.

This leads me to the slight twist: I live in rural Australia, which means typical pricing is out the window. Out here, there is little choice in product and things that should be $50 can cost $150 and things that should be $350 cost $300. Resultant of all these factors, I would truly appreciate some guidance.

My budget is ~$300 AUD or under (~$220 USD). I have listed a couple of the more prominent speakers available to me below, as well as their prices. Of course, I can and will continue to look into other recommendations and post their prices here. But remember, anything can cost almost anything here. So typical value/money ratios that people use for these recommendations may be completely busted.

A couple of sets I have found trawling the web: (Prices listed in USD)

AU stock
Dayton Audio B652-AIR = ~$131
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR = ~$177
Cambridge Audio Sx50 = ~$212
Sony SS-CS5 = ~$204

Imports (less desirable because of warranty etc)
Polk Audio TSi 100 = ~$180
Fluance SX6-BK = ~$187
Bic America Dv-62sib = ~$205

I will try to respond to any questions, but I do live upside down and so my timezone may be a tad polarizing.
Thanks in advance,
Will.
 

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I haven't heard any of those speakers except for the Pioneer BS22's. They are great speakers for the money but I found they lack treble clarity. For those prices, your warranty concern, and what I've read about them, I'd go with Cambridge Audio or Sony.
 

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The Cambridge S30, which the SX50 seem to be a replacement of, were a very good value at ~ $200 a pair. If the SX50 speakers seem to get a lot of positive reviews, I'd go with them based on my experience with the S30s. Otherwise, the Sony Core speakers.

Oh, and what kind of speakers (make/model) do you have right now? What do you like/not like about them? That might help people to better understand what you are looking for.
 

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Hi everyone,

It is obviously my first time, and first post on, these forums. I am quite an audio newbie.
For the last 10 years I have had the same pair of secondhand speakers and amp running my TV system. Recently, they broke.

I now have a replacement receiver. But, I am yet to get a new pair of bookshelf speakers. I will probably not have a sub for the foreseeable future... maybe one day - in 30 years - when I get paid more.

Now, I am aware that the best way to buy speakers is to listen to them and choose the ones that sound the best to you. Sadly, I live in the middle of no-where. There is a zero percent chance that I can listen to these speakers before I order them.

This leads me to the slight twist: I live in rural Australia, which means typical pricing is out the window. Out here, there is little choice in product and things that should be $50 can cost $150 and things that should be $350 cost $300. Resultant of all these factors, I would truly appreciate some guidance.

My budget is ~$300 AUD or under (~$220 USD). I have listed a couple of the more prominent speakers available to me below, as well as their prices. Of course, I can and will continue to look into other recommendations and post their prices here. But remember, anything can cost almost anything here. So typical value/money ratios that people use for these recommendations may be completely busted.

A couple of sets I have found trawling the web: (Prices listed in USD)

AU stock
Dayton Audio B652-AIR = ~$131
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR = ~$177
Cambridge Audio Sx50 = ~$212
Sony SS-CS5 = ~$204

Imports (less desirable because of warranty etc)
Polk Audio TSi 100 = ~$180
Fluance SX6-BK = ~$187
Bic America Dv-62sib = ~$205

I will try to respond to any questions, but I do live upside down and so my timezone may be a tad polarizing.
Thanks in advance,
Will.
My first true 5.1 system that wasn't a HTIB consisted of the SX series speakers's. I quite liked the sound of the SX towers, but the system was let down by the bookshelves and the center channel. If you could manage the towers (especially since you won't be adding a sub) I'd try doing that.

Alternately, though I haven't heard those Polks, I do have a 9.2 system consisting of the RTiA line, which I think are fantastic for the price. The RTiA 1's should fit your bill if you could get your hands on them. They sound great, and look fantastic with their curved cabinet and slick finish. Here's a new pair for 170 USD that would probably ship to you: https://*******/t8IoVO
I think you'd be VERY pleased, and honestly can't recommend these highly enough. I actually prefer them to my old PSB image system.

Edit: Well it won't let me post the URL link, but just search Ebay.com for the RTiA 1's.
 

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Hi everyone,

It is obviously my first time, and first post on, these forums. I am quite an audio newbie.
For the last 10 years I have had the same pair of secondhand speakers and amp running my TV system. Recently, they broke.

I now have a replacement receiver. But, I am yet to get a new pair of bookshelf speakers. I will probably not have a sub for the foreseeable future... maybe one day - in 30 years - when I get paid more.

Now, I am aware that the best way to buy speakers is to listen to them and choose the ones that sound the best to you. Sadly, I live in the middle of no-where. There is a zero percent chance that I can listen to these speakers before I order them.

This leads me to the slight twist: I live in rural Australia, which means typical pricing is out the window. Out here, there is little choice in product and things that should be $50 can cost $150 and things that should be $350 cost $300. Resultant of all these factors, I would truly appreciate some guidance.

My budget is ~$300 AUD or under (~$220 USD). I have listed a couple of the more prominent speakers available to me below, as well as their prices. Of course, I can and will continue to look into other recommendations and post their prices here. But remember, anything can cost almost anything here. So typical value/money ratios that people use for these recommendations may be completely busted.

A couple of sets I have found trawling the web: (Prices listed in USD)

AU stock
Dayton Audio B652-AIR = ~$131
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR = ~$177
Cambridge Audio Sx50 = ~$212
Sony SS-CS5 = ~$204

Imports (less desirable because of warranty etc)
Polk Audio TSi 100 = ~$180
Fluance SX6-BK = ~$187
Bic America Dv-62sib = ~$205

I will try to respond to any questions, but I do live upside down and so my timezone may be a tad polarizing.
Thanks in advance,
Will.
Cambridge, and it's not close.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The Cambridge S30, which the SX50 seem to be a replacement of, were a very good value at ~ $200 a pair. If the SX50 speakers seem to get a lot of positive reviews, I'd go with them based on my experience with the S30s. Otherwise, the Sony Core speakers.

Oh, and what kind of speakers (make/model) do you have right now? What do you like/not like about them? That might help people to better understand what you are looking for.
Thanks for the input :) I had a pair of old Sony bookshelves from the mid 90's. I can't remember the exact model, all I remember now is that they had a 5.5" woofer, and were of good build quality. To me they sounded quite balanced, they could handle enough bass to keep me happy, the highs weren't fatiguing, and they had a decent soundstage. However, I have been using them for 10 years, so it's entirely possible that I just didn't know what I was missing! :p I will trawl around the web and attempt to find their exact model later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My first true 5.1 system that wasn't a HTIB consisted of the SX series speakers's. I quite liked the sound of the SX towers, but the system was let down by the bookshelves and the center channel. If you could manage the towers (especially since you won't be adding a sub) I'd try doing that.

Alternately, though I haven't heard those Polks, I do have a 9.2 system consisting of the RTiA line, which I think are fantastic for the price. The RTiA 1's should fit your bill if you could get your hands on them. They sound great, and look fantastic with their curved cabinet and slick finish. Here's a new pair for 170 USD that would probably ship to you:
I think you'd be VERY pleased, and honestly can't recommend these highly enough. I actually prefer them to my old PSB image system.

Edit: Well it won't let me post the URL link, but just search Ebay.com for the RTiA 1's.
I think the towers would be a bit wishful. Getting something that big sent out here would only increase the shipping to even more ludicrous levels. :/ I have had a decent pair of bookshelf speakers for the last 10 years and they have handled my bass needs adequately, so I know I'm not the greediest bass-head out there, even if I do find them wanting on occasion.

Searching eBay, it seems that the cheapest pair of Polk RTiA 1's I can find is over $400, which would really hurt my wallet. However, I will keep an eye out for a deal if one happens to appear. Thanks for the input. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Another vote for Cambridge Audio.
That review does indeed sing their praises. Do you have experience with any of these speakers? Do you think the SX-50s would adequately handle a living room by themselves? Thanks for your input. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have also found some Q Acoustic speakers available to be shipped to where I live, so I will just throw these into the equation.
Q Acoustics 3010 = ~$205
Q Acoustics 2020i = ~$248
 

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I have also found some Q Acoustic speakers available to be shipped to where I live, so I will just throw these into the equation.
Q Acoustics 3010 = ~$205
Q Acoustics 2020i = ~$248
From the WhatHiFi Cambridge Audio review:

"The only fault we find with the SX-50s is when we match them with more expensive models.

The Award-winning Q Acoustic 2020is – £35 more than the SX-50s – soar more dynamically in Dream is Collapsing from the Inception soundtrack and find more layers in Nina Simone’s vocals in Feeling Good."



Read more at http://www.whathifi.com/cambridge-audio/sx-50/review#gWFjSY4GHrETkQS3.99

I tested in my home the Q Acoustics Concept 20s that have the identical drivers and crossover as the 2020i in a more rigid cabinet.

Very musical drivers with a sound I really liked; they were a touch brighter than my old B&W bookshelves of similar size that were much more expensive back in the day.

I think I preferred the sound of the Q Acoustics over the excellent B&Ws by just a hair so, yes, I think I'd go with the 2020is over the Cambridge Audio as I have found the reviews on WhatHiFi to be spot on with speakers I have personally listened to or owned in my home, (Concept 20s and Martin Logan LX16/Motion 15).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I tested in my home the Q Acoustics Concept 20s that have the identical drivers and crossover as the 2020i in a more rigid cabinet.

Very musical drivers with a sound I really liked; they were a touch brighter than my old B&W bookshelves of similar size that were much more expensive back in the day.

I think I preferred the sound of the Q Acoustics over the excellent B&Ws by just a hair so, yes, I think I'd go with the 2020is over the Cambridge Audio as I have found the reviews on WhatHiFi to be spot on with speakers I have personally listened to or owned in my home, (Concept 20s and Martin Logan LX16/Motion 15).
Thanks for the advice. :)
Do you think the 2020i's would be bassy enough without a sub?
 

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Thanks for the advice. :)
Do you think the 2020i's would be bassy enough without a sub?
I would say no. It's been my experience that any speaker that can reproduce sound down to 45hz is 'ok' but more is better - like down to 35hz. Those 2020's are anemic in the bass department - the bottom drops out at 64hz. And no mention of how far down that speaker is at that point since they haven't listed a + or - range. A single 5" driver should be able to dig a bit deeper.

Keep in mind these are rear ported so you'd need some room behind them to keep the bass response balanced.

Here's the specs for those speakers:

Specifications:

  • Enclosure Type: 2-Way Reflex
  • Bass Unit: 125m
  • Treble Unit: 25mm
  • Frequency Response: 64Hz - 22kHz
  • Nominal Impedance: 6ohm
  • Minimum Impedance: 4.0ohm
  • Sensitivity: 88dB
  • Crossover Frequency: 2.9kHz
  • Dimensions H/D/W mm: 265 x 278 x 170
  • Sold in: Pairs
  • Weight: 6kg
 

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Any chance you have the Cambridge Aero 2s available in that price range? They're still available from a few places in the US on close-out-not sure if they're available in Australia. I'd take those over the SX50s. I actually like the Pioneer BS22s but they are a bit on the warm side (slightly rolled off treble).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Any chance you have the Cambridge Aero 2s available in that price range? They're still available from a few places in the US on close-out-not sure if they're available in Australia. I'd take those over the SX50s. I actually like the Pioneer BS22s but they are a bit on the warm side (slightly rolled off treble).
Looks like those are available, but they would literally double my budget. Perhaps I could live with just one speaker... :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I would say no. It's been my experience that any speaker that can reproduce sound down to 45hz is 'ok' but more is better - like down to 35hz. Those 2020's are anemic in the bass department - the bottom drops out at 64hz. And no mention of how far down that speaker is at that point since they haven't listed a + or - range. A single 5" driver should be able to dig a bit deeper.

Keep in mind these are rear ported so you'd need some room behind them to keep the bass response balanced.

[/LIST]
I checked and it appears that my current/previous bookshelf speakers had a listed range of 40-20k and they were totally acceptable for my listening without a sub. So, I take it that the CA SX-50's would handle themselves noticeably better without a sub than the 2020i's would?
 

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I checked and it appears that my current/previous bookshelf speakers had a listed range of 40-20k and they were totally acceptable for my listening without a sub. So, I take it that the CA SX-50's would handle themselves noticeably better without a sub than the 2020i's would?
The problem with the frequency response claims of some manufacturers is that they're a tad inflated. Without independent measurements it's hard to tell.

If you were willing to go used on an older set (really, speakers last for decades unless manhandled) you could grab the infinity Primus 360 towers listed as used for 226 AUD (or best offer) in Ebay Australia. They're fairly sensitive at (independently measured) 91.5db, were highly regarded in the entry level category, and would have better low end than the speakers you listed above. Here's independent measurements from stereophile:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/infinity-primus-360-loudspeaker-measurements#tKvOLpyOrvuzyr1e.97
 
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