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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!


I'm fairly new to the speaker world; my previous experience has been with a pair of Kenwood speakers that are nearly 40 years old that my dad bought overseas when he was in the Navy, and a set of HTIB speakers that came with my Yamaha receiver and subwoofer.


I'd like to upgrade to something better than what I have now, and I want to do so without having to sell my firstborn into slavery, as I've seen several speaker systems that can be upwards of $10k!!!


Is there a primer, or "Dumb Guy's Guide to Audio Speakers" or something that I can kind of peruse to get basics that I can start from?


I hear all sorts of stuff about speakers, like you need so much power to produce a good sound, and matched speakers, and this "sound bar" technology that produces surround sound from a speaker that's in front of you (still not sure how that works; I was always under the impression that "surround sound" meant you were literally surrounded by the sound and had speakers in front of and behind you).


I really have no idea what any of this means, or how to put it into layman's terms so that I can understand how it all works together...Anyone have any recommendations or can point me in the right direction so I don't sound stupid asking questions about speakers?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
90% Home Theater/Gaming, 10% music. My wife likes listening to her country music, and we try to play holiday music on the holidays (Christmas gets Christmas music, Halloween has that "spooky pop/rock" type of music, 4th of July has a bunch of patriotic songs, etc.), but for the most part, it's home theater.



I'd ultimately like to try to keep it around $400, maybe as high as $500; I've got an apartment sized living room/kitchen/dining room area, about 11' x 20', give or take where I've got the speakers. Not really looking for something to BLAST, just provide good tone. I'd prefer not to have the neighbors, or worse, the police, show up and tell me to turn it down.



I was really hoping to find something that tells me what makes a speaker better, like why dipole magnet speakers are better than some other speakers, or when I'd want to use a sound bar vs. not...
 

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$4-500 for a 5.1 set up? For that, look at Newegg and the Polk Monitor series speakers. M60s for the mains, CS1 center, M30s for the rears and a cheap sub.

This might be the best you can do in that price range.
 

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And $10k is a drop in the bucket! A 5.1 Focal Grande Utopia set up would be over half a million! And probably sound friggin sweat!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsaudio /forum/post/0


And $10k is a drop in the bucket! A 5.1 Focal Grande Utopia set up would be over half a million! And probably sound friggin sweat!

Does that system come with a t-shirt that says, "I have more money than brains"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Originally Posted by karlsaudio /forum/post/19525471


$4-500 for a 5.1 set up? For that, look at Newegg and the Polk Monitor series speakers. M60s for the mains, CS1 center, M30s for the rears and a cheap sub.

This might be the best you can do in that price range.

I've already got a Yamaha sub from my old HTIB system that I'd probably use until I can get something a little better, a Yamaha SW-501. It might not be ideal, but it'll do until I can afford something nicer.


I figure that almost any speakers are going to sound better than the ones I got with my HTIB system; the center's got a tear in one of the cones, and another one has a bit of damage after falling off of a shelf during an earthquake here in San Diego.


Thanks for at least pointing me in the right direction, but...Is there anywhere that I can find something that will help me learn a bit more about the audio world? i.e. where I can learn how to determine the right size speakers for my rooms, what the difference between a tweeter and a midrange speaker is, which gauge of wire I should use to hook up my speakers, etc.?
 

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Well, there are a ton of variables! What I would do is spend some time looking through all the threads that sound like something you are doing. There are opinions for everything though but, you will start to see a commonality with all of them.

Yes, most speakers wil sound better than what you have now. Especially if they are damaged!

With speaker wire, the best I can say is get some 14 AWG wire and be done with it. You may want to put "banana" plugs on the end of them but, that is not that nessissary.(sp?) Just more of a convienience.

Also, make sure all of the speakers match. Same brand. Same line. Size is not that important for the surrounds but, across the front is critical.

Good luck!
 

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Oh, and "bookshelf" size speakers work fine until you get over say 200 sq. ft. in room size. BUT! That is also highly subjective.
 

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The Infiniti Primus series is going pretty cheap too. On that budget, use the sub you have until you have the money to upgrade. You still may go over a bit. I assuming you already have a decent receiver, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jake227 /forum/post/19528520


The Infiniti Primus series is going pretty cheap too. On that budget, use the sub you have until you have the money to upgrade. You still may go over a bit. I assuming you already have a decent receiver, right?

Receiver I'm currently using is an older Yamaha HTIB receiver; I'm waiting for a Denon AVR-591 to ship (trying to do a bit of budget home theater; wife is stopping down on spending for a lot of it, and quite literally can't hear some of the differences as she's partially deaf from a birth defect so I can't justify to her why some stuff sounds better than others because the tones don't come through on her hearing aids) and will use that for my living room/dining room area of my apartment.


I'm not looking for something that pushes a ton of sound; I don't want to aggravate the neighbors unnecessarily, but would like a semi-decent sound for the action flicks, video games, and a good Gran Turismo 5 experience.



I've been looking at a couple sets of Polk speakers that Newegg has on sale; they've got a set of RM75 speakers, and a set of RM85 speakers that look ok (but then again, with the limited experience I have, I couldn't tell which set would be better; for all I know the 40 year old Kenwoods my dad gave me might be of better quality than these)...
 
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