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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I’m looking to replace a pair of Polk Lsim bookshelves that got wet during a pipe leak recently. I’m not a professed audiophile, more of a guy who really likes quality audio but has 5 kids in the house. I have an aventage 870 receiver to push them with. Usage is 40% tv/home theatre - 60% music, classic and new rock, some bass heavy stuff once in a while. I like to listen at moderate volumes ( possible to talk over, but not easy) And really appreciate a full sound with good bottom end even at lower listening levels. I am looking at eBay, and auigon for something used I can get without having to sell a kid..... I have a fond memory of mirage back in the day, and their are several options for a omd setup 2.1 or 3.1 setup that would be in the 500-600 range. I was always impressed by their soundstage but haven’t heard them in over a decade, the memories could be fonder than reality. In the budget range mentioned can you make some recommendations of some speakers that would be worth looking at? Wife is pushing me to just get a sound bar..... I’m resisting as the only one I’ve ever heard that I would consider was over 1500 and passive from golden ear.
Thanks for the advice..
 

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How much did you like the Polk? I think the new Polk Reserve line looks pretty intriguing, but they aren't shipping yet AFAIK, and $600 would only buy the smallest bookshelf model. The ELAC DBR62 has a good reputation at that price point. If you want to go super cheap, I've heard a lot of good things about the JBL A130 that are $180 right now.
 

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The jbl stage series is rated really well for balanced sound for a home theater. If you want to focus on the music you can look at htd or chane from my research they are a little better for music but will work for movies. You can get a 3.1 of the jbl a130 with the 125c center for around 300 if they are still on sale. I would however get a sub with them maybe a dayton 12 it bic f12 for 200-300 unless you want to get a serious sub ( which most would recommend) like the svs pb-1000 or hsu for around $500
 

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Good thing you didn't fall for the GE soundbar. Their products are hugely overpriced for so-so performance, imo.

So just to be clear, this is going to be a 2.0 (no sub) setup for 60% music and 40% HT/TV? No plans to ever add a center speaker in the future?

Are you able to do towers, or only bookshelves?

How important is cosmetics/WAF?

If towers are possible, at $600 I would wait for the next sale on the JBL Studio 580s, exactly $300 apiece and you get the peace of mind of free return shipping. Question is if your wife would be ok with their looks (they do look much nicer in room than in the terrible website pics.)

JBL's Stage A series is also a good bet and have less controversial looks, but you just missed a great sale on them...the A190s in particular would have been ideal with its 8" woofers giving you plenty of room filling bass, I think they were as low as $600/pr.

If only bookshelves, I'd take a close look at these, which go on sale for around $350/pr iirc, every couple of weeks:

So generally, if you can wait a couple of weeks for the next Adorama or JBL sales, you could get some very nice speakers brand new, well within your budget. Zero need to take any chances buying used at those prices.


I’m looking to replace a pair of Polk Lsim bookshelves that got wet during a pipe leak recently. I’m not a professed audiophile, more of a guy who really likes quality audio but has 5 kids in the house. I have an aventage 870 receiver to push them with. Usage is 40% tv/home theatre - 60% music, classic and new rock, some bass heavy stuff once in a while. I like to listen at moderate volumes ( possible to talk over, but not easy) And really appreciate a full sound with good bottom end even at lower listening levels. I am looking at eBay, and auigon for something used I can get without having to sell a kid..... I have a fond memory of mirage back in the day, and their are several options for a omd setup 2.1 or 3.1 setup that would be in the 500-600 range. I was always impressed by their soundstage but haven’t heard them in over a decade, the memories could be fonder than reality. In the budget range mentioned can you make some recommendations of some speakers that would be worth looking at? Wife is pushing me to just get a sound bar..... I’m resisting as the only one I’ve ever heard that I would consider was over 1500 and passive from golden ear.
Thanks for the advice..
 
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I liked the Polks but I wouldn’t say I loved them. They were good overall and I got about 10 years out of them second hand, probably would have gotten 10 more if not for the mishap. The polks seemed really well rounded, top end very clear but slightly subdued off center. I will probably add a center eventually for tv purposes. Possibly sooner rather than later. A Smaller sub is also in the consideration. Towers aren’t a possibility because of wife’s lack of approval. Appearance will be a key to pulling this off as it’s going in the living room with vaulted ceiling, a sub will be needed/ desirable. Here’s a pic of where the setup will be living.
 

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If you're likely to put the speakers close up against a wall, I'd recommend front-ported speakers: the RSL CG5/CG25 and HTD Level 3 bookshelves in particular.

The RSL Speedwoofer 10S is what I'd get if you want something small, but it's front vented instead of a sealed box so you'll still get a lot more output from it than a sealed sub of similar size/power.

Both RSL and HTD provide free return shipping, so I'd test out both and see which one you like better.

There's also the NHT C3 which has a similar size as your old LSi703 ... Amazon currently has them for the same $500 apiece that the NHT website has, but in the past they've dropped as low as $300-350 apiece which would put them in your budget range. They are also a sealed design and they have an elegant matte finish that doesn't show up in the pics.




I liked the Polks but I wouldn’t say I loved them. They were good overall and I got about 10 years out of them second hand, probably would have gotten 10 more if not for the mishap. The polks seemed really well rounded, top end very clear but slightly subdued off center. I will probably add a center eventually for tv purposes. Possibly sooner rather than later. A Smaller sub is also in the consideration. Towers aren’t a possibility because of wife’s lack of approval. Appearance will be a key to pulling this off as it’s going in the living room with vaulted ceiling, a sub will be needed/ desirable. Here’s a pic of where the setup will be living.
 
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I liked the Polks but I wouldn’t say I loved them. They were good overall and I got about 10 years out of them second hand, probably would have gotten 10 more if not for the mishap. The polks seemed really well rounded, top end very clear but slightly subdued off center. I will probably add a center eventually for tv purposes. Possibly sooner rather than later. A Smaller sub is also in the consideration. Towers aren’t a possibility because of wife’s lack of approval. Appearance will be a key to pulling this off as it’s going in the living room with vaulted ceiling, a sub will be needed/ desirable. Here’s a pic of where the setup will be living.
So the wife is OK with a treadmill in the living room but not two beautiful tower speakers?:)
 

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Oops, almost forgot about these---check if the wife approves. They have sharp corners and a plain finish, but are quite slim profile so kind of sleek looking. They'll do very well for your 60% music use, tweeters are clear but never bright unlike the Polks, which will come in handy given your wood floors making for a fairly reflective room.

About the only area where the Polks win besides looks would be sheer mid-bass output but they do have enough for you to be ok without a sub. Dual 5.25" woofers mean you'll get plenty of room-filling headroom, and they do well with all genres of music while not needing much power.

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Towers aren’t a possibility because of wife’s lack of approval. Appearance will be a key to pulling this off as it’s going in the living room with vaulted ceiling, a sub will be needed/ desirable.
 

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Hsu HC-1 is another similar option, with a Rosewood option if she can't live with plain black cabs:

Even though it's got a horn tweeter, there's a built in treble roll off so you don't have the notorious "shouty" quality of entry level Klipsch speakers.
 

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What stands out to me now are the Polk R200's and Triangle Bro3's. The polks are $700 but I think the extra hundred over the R100 is worth it. Triangles are $500;street price.

Also the JBL studio 530's are an incredible value at their frequent $300 sale price and are possibly just as good as the others. They have a unique look though!
 
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What stands out to me now are the Polk R200's and Triangle Bro3's. The polks are $700 but I think the extra hundred over the R100 is worth it. Triangles are $500;street price.

Also the JBL studio 530's are an incredible value at their frequent $300 sale price and are possibly just as good as the others. They have a unique look though!
I think that for the op the 530s may be a good fit
 
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It doesn’t normally live there. I don’t have the basement completely refinished from the water leak..... lol besides. If she says it goes there. It goes there, if she ain’t happy, nobody’s happy lol
Weird you cannot get tower yet the tv is already plenty high up off the ground it takes up same space as bookshelves.
I’d get jbl 530 and sub, good subs don’t annoy everyone like bad ones .
Or these if you prefer treble Klipsch RP-600M Reference Premiere Bookshelf Speakers - Pair (Ebony) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07G3D2C8S/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glc_fabc_569GRHCXV649SQ52MRAH
 

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I have both the 703s and JBL 530s. While I personally think the 703 is a better speaker, it is still quite close and I could certainly see others preferring the 530. The two speakers are really quite different sounding. The 703s are much warmer with a really good midrange and lots of bottom end, while the 530s have a wider soundstage and a more impressive top end. If you have not previously been running a sub, then the 530s on sale with a decent sub like the previously mentioned RSL Speedwoofer would certainly be an improvement over the 703s in 2.0. A possible downside for you might be their looks, although (as often repeated) they look much better in person than in pictures. The good thing is they have free returns if purchased directly from JBL, so worth a try if they come back on sale soon.
 

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I have both the 703s and JBL 530s. While I personally think the 703 is a better speaker, it is still quite close and I could certainly see others preferring the 530. The two speakers are really quite different sounding. The 703s are much warmer with a really good midrange and lots of bottom end, while the 530s have a wider soundstage and a more impressive top end. If you have not previously been running a sub, then the 530s on sale with a decent sub like the previously mentioned RSL Speedwoofer would certainly be an improvement over the 703s in 2.0. A possible downside for you might be their looks, although (as often repeated) they look much better in person than in pictures. The good thing is they have free returns if purchased directly from JBL, so worth a try if they come back on sale soon.
My thought was: " the 703s aren't harsh , the 530s are similar in this regard" .. Hence the 530s are a " safe " choice ..and they are top of the heap sound quality wise at the sale price( $300).. We could argue about if there are other choices that are as good or maybe a smidge better , but ,imo there aren't any that clearly are superior.. So again, a safe choice.. Just my opinion, that and $5 gets a 50 cent cup of coffee at starbucks...
 
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Discussion Starter #18
I really like the look of the HTD level 3, Madagascar ebony is pretty sharp looking. How big of a soundstage do they produce. The studio 530 probably would be the second choice. other than the speedwoofer which is out of stock again, what would you recommend. I noticed parts express has some Dayton kits with 2 radiators in stock in the 5-600 range. Are they worth exploring? It might make a fun project with the boys one weekend.
 

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My thought was: " the 703s aren't harsh , the 530s are similar in this regard" .. Hence the 530s are a " safe " choice ..and they are top of the heap sound quality wise at the sale price( $300).. We could argue about if there are other choices that are as good or maybe a smidge better , but ,imo there aren't any that clearly are superior.. So again, a safe choice.. Just my opinion, that and $5 gets a 50 cent cup of coffee at starbucks...
Two different speakers but definitely neither are harsh. That said, I very much agree with you, especially when you factor in the price and free returns. My main point was that something like the 530s in the $300 (or so) range along with a sub would certainly be greater than a $600-700 pair of speakers with no sub.

I really like the look of the HTD level 3, Madagascar ebony is pretty sharp looking. How big of a soundstage do they produce. The studio 530 probably would be the second choice. other than the speedwoofer which is out of stock again, what would you recommend. I noticed parts express has some Dayton kits with 2 radiators in stock in the 5-600 range. Are they worth exploring? It might make a fun project with the boys one weekend.
At $600 a HSU VTF2-mk5 would be my choice. Actually I calculated it at $643, but its certainly one of the best subs for the price. Just note that it is quite large.
 

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I really like the look of the HTD level 3, Madagascar ebony is pretty sharp looking. How big of a soundstage do they produce. The studio 530 probably would be the second choice. other than the speedwoofer which is out of stock again, what would you recommend. I noticed parts express has some Dayton kits with 2 radiators in stock in the 5-600 range. Are they worth exploring? It might make a fun project with the boys one weekend.
I probably wouldn't bother with DIY unless you enjoy the actual work involved, because I don't think there's much cost benefit with many of these speakers esp. the ones that go on sale for so little.

Or at least that's what I say to excuse my laziness and lack of mechanical skills. :)
 
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