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I'm looking to get a new set of music speakers and was thinking I'd go for a home theater system instead. How good are these surround systems for listening to regular music (not in surround format--I just want to listen to music as regular stereo)? Are there special hybrid systems I should look for?


This is for a roughly 25 foot living room, my budget is around $500.
 

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If it is the HTIB stuff, they are OK. Especially at lower volumes. But, just OK. Is it your plan to go with a $500 5.1 set up? There are many. For a room that size, you might be dissappointed however. I will assume you have some kind of a AV reciever. So, for $500, you can get a nice "2.0" set of speakers. Look for B&W 686s, KEF iQ10s, Polk RTi A3s, Paradigm Atom Monitors. These still might be a little small for your room however. If you can go up to the $600 range, the B&W 685s, KEF iQ30s or Paradigm Mini Monitors should do the trick. You would not be disappointed in these. Then later on you can add the surrounds, a center, and a sub.

Good luck
 

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Can you buy more later? You can get a nice set of stereo speakers and a decent low-end receiver for that. But if you try to do a 5.1 setup, with or without the receiver, quality will be much much lower.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by toecheese /forum/post/18218325


I'm looking to get a new set of music speakers and was thinking I'd go for a home theater system instead. How good are these surround systems for listening to regular music (not in surround format--I just want to listen to music as regular stereo)? Are there special hybrid systems I should look for?


This is for a roughly 25 foot living room, my budget is around $500.

What speakers do you have now? $500 speakers today are mostly built for HT and not music. They tend to be bright and harsh for music. All my music speakers are 20+ years old.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornhulio /forum/post/18219631


What speakers do you have now? $500 speakers today are mostly built for HT and not music. They tend to be bright and harsh for music. All my music speakers are 20+ years old.

Entirely subjective notion.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cornhulio /forum/post/18219631


What speakers do you have now? $500 speakers today are mostly built for HT and not music. They tend to be bright and harsh for music. All my music speakers are 20+ years old.

$500 for speakers is just as inappropriate for "HT" as it is music. if anything, they are good just for making noise.
 

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You can get 5 bookshelves for HT for $500. But if you are just listening to music you may as well just get 2 speakers for $500 since they will be of higher quality.
 

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I second just staying with two channel if this is for music. You're going to get a lot more out of two speakers for $500 than 5 speakers and a surround receiver for $500. The suggestions in Karlsaudio's post are a good starting point, and there is plenty of other stuff stuff worth listening to in that range as well. But I definitely would stay away from the home theater if music is the primary usage.

Quote:
What speakers do you have now? $500 speakers today are mostly built for HT and not music. They tend to be bright and harsh for music. All my music speakers are 20+ years old.

The speakers I use are right in this price point and are anything but bright and harsh. I'll agree that $500 Klipschs aren't going to be a good idea for a music only system...but there is a lot of stuff out there that most definitely isn't bright and harsh.
 

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No way in hell I'd go back to a two channel music system after experiencing the ground tremble in all directions from 7.1. Different world altogether. Make me curious as to what a high powered 9.2 system sounds like during music.
 

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I disagree. My set of 6 speakers is sitting on a shelf unused as I've been perfectly happy with my 2 better speakers (and sub) since getting them, and I'm about to start looking into two channel integrated amps to replace my surround receiver (which right now is only used in 2 channel direct, so it's basically an integrated amp itself). I've never been a fan of multichannel music, and I think my system is much better with the two better speakers than the full surround setup. To each his own I guess.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by boulderdashcci /forum/post/18232863


I disagree. My set of 6 speakers is sitting on a shelf unused as I've been perfectly happy with my 2 better speakers (and sub) since getting them, and I'm about to start looking into two channel integrated amps to replace my surround receiver (which right now is only used in 2 channel direct, so it's basically an integrated amp itself). I've never been a fan of multichannel music, and I think my system is much better with the two better speakers than the full surround setup. To each his own I guess.

Your right. To each his own. But I personally would rather have 7 15's firing off at the same time over one pair only. It makes the music experience much, much more powerful in my opinion. However if I was going for sharpness/clarity with depth I would have a strictly music system with two dual 10" woofer speakers and a 10" powered subwoofer in 2.1.
 

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If you're going to buy a 5.1 setup for $500 versus 2 speakers for $500, I'd go with the 2 speakers and add more later. For the money, the quality of the 2 speakers will be higher.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by toecheese /forum/post/18218325


I'm looking to get a new set of music speakers and was thinking I'd go for a home theater system instead. How good are these surround systems for listening to regular music (not in surround format--I just want to listen to music as regular stereo)? Are there special hybrid systems I should look for?


This is for a roughly 25 foot living room, my budget is around $500.

For that budget size your best bet is your local craigslist. That's how I built the bulk of my system on a limited budget. As Ive stated before i would rather go used and try to get higher end items from yesterday's product offerings rather than purchase any of the mediocre crap being offered with today's mid tier product lines.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by toecheese /forum/post/18218325


I'm looking to get a new set of music speakers and was thinking I'd go for a home theater system instead. How good are these surround systems for listening to regular music (not in surround format--I just want to listen to music as regular stereo)? Are there special hybrid systems I should look for?


This is for a roughly 25 foot living room, my budget is around $500.

$500 on craigslist will get you a nice pair of higher end used speakers. Start with that and build up from there. Good luck and post your findings
Audiogon is also a nice place to look, but you won't find rock bottom deals. Selection will be better though
 

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If you want speakers mainly for music I suggest you start with 2 floorstanders, next add a sub or 2, next a center, finally the surrounds. But spend your $500 on 2 floorstanders, floorstanders give you much more vertical dispertion and they have greater depth and punch in the bass and mid/bass region over bookshelf speakers. I'm not talking about getting crappy cheap floorstanders as opposed to good bookshelves, get some good quality speakers.
 

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floorstanders give you much more vertical dispertion and they have greater depth and punch in the bass and mid/bass region over bookshelf speakers.


Sorry but that is 100% false.


First there is no difference in vertical dispertion.


Second if I anyone has a sub they should be crossing over the floorstands or the bookshelves around > 70Hz so your point about depth and punch is meaningless. Since the floorstands essentially become bookshelf designs.


A quality bookshelf/sub design is as good as a floorstand/sub design and is better then just a floorstand design.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray /forum/post/18233457


Sorry but that is 100% false.


First there is no difference in vertical dispertion.


Second if I anyone has a sub they should be crossing over the floorstands or the bookshelves around > 70Hz so your point about depth and punch is meaningless. Since the floorstands essentially become bookshelf designs.

A quality bookshelf/sub design is as good as a floorstand/sub design and is better then just a floorstand design.

And best of all is this allows those on a budget to purchase the book shelf speakers saving a little bit of money over floor stand or buying higher quality speakers and then later purchasing a sub.
 

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For $500 definitely get a good pair of stereo speakers. That alone is going to give you much more satisfaction for music than a 5.1 speaker set for the same price. When you get higher in budget, that might change, but $500 is definitely better spent on two quality speakers. Later on you can add to your system. Depending of you get 2-way bookshelves or 3-way floorstanders, the sub might be the next purchase. If you're satisfied with the bass output of your stereo fronts, then maybe add the surrounds first, then the sub. Maybe add the center last. The center is important, though I would rather have 4.1 than 3.1 personally.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray /forum/post/18233457


Sorry but that is 100% false.


First there is no difference in vertical dispertion.


Second if I anyone has a sub they should be crossing over the floorstands or the bookshelves around > 70Hz so your point about depth and punch is meaningless. Since the floorstands essentially become bookshelf designs.


A quality bookshelf/sub design is as good as a floorstand/sub design and is better then just a floorstand design.

Penngray i'm not saying you are wrong but say you have a 2way bookshelf speaker with one tweeter and one mid/woofer. How is that as good as a 2.5way floorstander with one tweeter, and 3 or 4 mid/woofers or better yet a 3 way floorstander with one tweeter, 2 mids, and 2 woofers. The speakers in towers are usually oriented vertically. So depending on the floorstander you would have sound produced from a few inches off the floor to 40" high or so.


I'm not an expert but I was just giving advise on my own experience and what my ears hear.
 
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