AVS Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
It all started when I got a nice Samsung 40" LCD TV for a good price at a charity auction. Much better answer for our small family room than the 32" Samsung it replaced, but the sound is hideous. Given the scarcity of inputs on the new Sammy, getting decent sound meant a home theater receiver. I recently picked up a Yamaha RX-V671 for under $400 delivered - before gift card. I basically went with the Yamaha because of a great value point and I felt it would be a better choice for music


That leaves me with two Polk RM7400t speakers I picked up at a going out of business sale a few years back. (Notice a trend here?) For a long time, we've put great sound below other things and I've listened through compromises. I'd like to be able to change that.


Our family room is about 12' x 14' with large openings to the kitchen and hallway. The Polks sit in two corners on the solid 12' wall. There's a fireplace between them, which puts the TV in one corner practically in front of one of the Polks. Rear channel speakers can connect via banana plugs into wall outlets I ran when I redid the room three years ago.


We listen to a lot of different kinds of music - classic rock, small group and big band jazz, classical, Christmas, Broadway. I'm not a high budget guy. Never will be. I don't mind buying last year's technology at a discount. Here are our priorities:


1) Accurate sound reproduction. Especially with a subwoofer, I want to hear accurate lows, not feel them like when some kid drives by in a $300 car with a $7,000 sound system. We really don't have to feel the explosions in movies if it means it feels like the bass player is walking through a minefield. I characterize the RM7400ts as sounding pretty good but certainly lacking a serious low end. Not the best speakers I've owned or heard but not the worst, either.


2) Compact size. Space is at a premium in the room, and my wife would prefer to hear and not see the speakers. Given space constraints, I'd like the smallest sub I realistically can get away with. It will probably end up in the corner space behind the TV.


3) Budget of around $500. I can live with a higher price tag if someone can convince me it's worth it, but I think I can get what I want for that. Given the room and how we'll use the system, I think that's a reasonable bang for the buck budget.


Things that look interesting are the ENERGY Take Classic or RC Micro, or the Polk TL250 and PSW111 (both Polk refurbished for $500). Note the small sizes. Are there other options to consider, including keeping the RM7400t in service? Do I even need a 5.1 setup? If I replace the Polks, I can always connect them to my ancient JVC RX-V715 receiver. It's connected to my PC, where I'm digitizing my audio and video libraries. I edit with headphones, but those towers would sound much better than the cheesy PC speakers I have now. The old, smaller TV will probably end up in that room as well.


I'm not wedded to Polks, either. The speaker industry is close to perfectly competitive, in my view, which means some of the best values to be had could be in some lesser-known brands.


Thanks in advance for the advice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,308 Posts
fwiw, 5 nht super zeros $100 each and a energy s10.3 sub $220 at newegg $770 abit over budget but if your looking for small and good way better than what you have posted
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,705 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by reframmellator  /t/1418787/speaker-recommendations-for-next-500-upgrade#post_22191584


1) Accurate sound reproduction. Especially with a subwoofer, I want to hear accurate lows, not feel them like when some kid drives by in a $300 car with a $7,000 sound system. We really don't have to feel the explosions in movies if it means it feels like the bass player is walking through a minefield.

Your expectations may be exceeding your budget here. It's not cheap to get "accurate sound reproduction" with a subwoofer. The Energy S10.3 smasher50 suggested is probably about the best choice that will get you close to that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,063 Posts
The speakers you are talking about will not give you good system sound. Front speakers must have a frequency response down to below 60 Hz, or you will put too much of the sound in the hands of the subwoofer, which is of course MONAURAL sound! Ugh!


The Polk RM7400T only have 4" drivers, which only really go down to about 70 Hz, and they don't sound all that great anyway. You need some much better front speakers.


I suggest that you give up on the idea of worthless little micro-speakers and get a pair of good-sounding monitors for the front.


The KEF C3 speakers are $329 per pair from the KEF Direct website, and those will give you a huge improvement in your system sound


For a compact subwoofer with excellent power and clean linear performance I recommend the NHT B10D, which is a cube 12.5 inches on each side. It is the best by far that I know of in such a small size package.


It is much smaller than units with comparable performance because it is a sealed acoustic suspension design. This requires a bit more power, but the B10D has a 300-watt amplifier, which does the job nicely. It goes for $499, but I think you can get a discount ordering factory direct.


Subwoofers that are cheaper do not offer very good performance; you won't keep them very long.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input. You've given me some good ideas with some good rationale behind them. That's what I was hoping to get.


I get the points that the fronts and/or sub matter a lot, which leads me to these questions: how would your answers change if I were asking for recommendations for a 2.0 system? Would it change your recommendations for center and rear speakers? I might be better off taking the apple one bite at a time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,605 Posts
For one on a budget, and wanting a sort of low profile - the Cambridge Audio S30,

would work nice for your room. Also, they have real nice bass down to 60hz. They

will crossover nicely to the Energy S10.3 sub. > This can be a good starting point.
http://www.amazon.com/Cambridge-Audio-Speakers-Dark-Pair/dp/B004NDN9NK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1341542672&sr=8-1&keywords=cambridge+audio+s30


If you can talk the wife into small towers, Then HTD Level Two.
http://www.htd.com/Products/level-two-speakers/Level-TWO-Tower-Speakers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #7

Quote:
If you can talk the wife into small towers, Then HTD Level Two.

These look intriguing, but space is so tight even these don't look like an option. The only place to put them is really tight, so it looks like small bookshelf units for now


When I last seriously bought speakers, Reagan was President and I A/B'ed maybe a dozen small bookshelf speakers. DW got tired of using my JBL L-100s for lampstands. Wound up with a pair of Boston Acoustics that I really liked until the woofer blew. After that it was expediency with growing kids and such, and I haven't done it since.


So my next question is - some of you have bought speakers without getting a chance to hear them. How? What did you look for? How would you do it differently? I've read reviews and some brands today read like they sounded back then (Infinity, e.g.). I have Best Buy and one decent audio store with perhaps two of the three lines I'm interested in.


Thanks again for the insights.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top