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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking of buying a new set of main speakers ($500-$600 range). In the past, I've always relied upon Consumer Reports to get me started in buying cars and appliances. I have trusted them in the past to at least give me a selection to work with, and choose from there. The problem I have is the "limited" choice of speakers they test and reliability of their methods. Should I be skeptical or rely on their suggestions to get me started. For example, if I see a lot of favorable reports in tests on Toyotas, and the model I'm looking for has not been tested, I at least give them a try because of their "overall" favorable results. Can I feel the same way about speaker companies as well ? Thanks for any suggestions along these lines.
 

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I've used them before with good results on cars and other things but, from what I've seen in the past they just don't have a clue with audio equipment. They don't know enough about it and they are really feature oriented. The one time I used them for speakers it was almost inverse to what sounded good to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's what I'm afraid of....I feel resticted to major brand speakers as I live in the "frozen north" with no high end audio for many miles.....I'm afraid to order by mail W/O an easy return, so I'm stuck with major outlets, the usual mall stores...so I'm open to suggestions.

Present mains, don't laugh, are Boston Acoutics A40 bought in the 80's, with a Vel cht 12 sub.
 

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No sir. Would you want CR to tell you which frozen dinner to buy? Or maybe they can help with best hair style to adopt. Mullets would likely get a five star listing. Good luck with that!
 

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I hear you, speakers can be so subjective......but I'm looking for a source to start...The thing that bothers me most is that CR asks yearly for consumer response ratings from us for autos and appliances, electonics, but NEVER on speakers.
 

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Consumer Reports is so *wrong* they should be sued out of existence. I view them as dangerous activists at this point. Did you see the last bit of shenanigans they just pulled with the baby seats? In any case, they don't *listen* to speakers, and they don't know how to measure. I could go into detail, but to say their info on speakers is meaningless is being way too kind.


As for your existing speakers, hardly anything of which to be ashamed. I started off with Boston A60s and got hooked on that acoustic suspension type of sound and sub/sat sound and have never gone back.
 

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Mconno----You just need to go out and listen to speakers, there's no getting around it.


Speakers that are considered good vary so wildly in sound that you can't go by anything but your own listening, you can't even go by what I might tell you and I'm an expert on damn near everything.
 

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IMO CR has gone so far downhill. I truly don't feel they are a non biased program at all anymore! 10 years ago i would say they did pretty good. I could personally list my last 3 (non AV gear) purchases and all were well below the ratings IMO. Cars/trucks might be the only thing left to trust by them but, how hard is it to say Toyota makes one of the best cars DUH!!!!
 

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You won't get an objective answer around here when you bring up CR, as everyone here is convinced they know oh so much more.



But home audio is not a strong suit, at least above entry level/HTIB. Read articles, get some ideas for what's new, features, etc., then move on.


CNET has quick and dirty reviews if you want that, on some things. Again, look for observations, don't trust their bottom line review.


You really have to think about what you want. Read here, and google for reviews - audioholics, sound & vision, stereophile. They all have terrible biases, almost as bad as this bunch. But there's info in there if you can filter.
 

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Consumer Reports is good for things like vacuum cleaners(called out Dyson), washers, dryers, lawn mowers etc. They are not very good with speakers but do remember that they are one of the few magazines that ever slammed Bose.
 

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Ditto dm clone especially on the dyson thing almost bit the bullet on that bunch of bs if it werent for CR.


And as the last guy said theres bs everywhere, and its mixed in with the good information so you have to take bits and peices from wherever you can.
 

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Nobody has said it yet, but if you want a good source for speaker suggestions, the forum is not a bad place to start at all. The A/V oriented magazines may be useful at least with familiarizing yourself with brands that are not the mainstream brands found at chain stores, which is a good thing, but their reviews are of dubious relevance since they are so often glowing. The basic point is though, just get out there and get listening.
 

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Bingo. Don't F with Bose or they'll whip out their Monster(tm) lawyers



Is there at least Best Buy or the like where you could at check out some of the big box brands like BA or Polk? If not I guess I would go with one of the well received ID brands like Ascend or AVS123 and cross your fingers - it might be a pain to return them because of where you live but they do offer good return policies.
 
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