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Thoughts On My Budget System (Sony Reciever and Fluance Speakers) - Page 2

post #16 of 84
Thread Starter 
OMG!

I think my parents have one of those in the basement!!!!!

The front looks exactly the same as that one, and it's probably from the 70's!

When the speakers went out, the reciever got banished to basement storage. The only thing I remember about it (I was just a kid last time I used it) was that the radio reception was amazing.

I will have to ask my mom to dig it out and give it to me
post #17 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by xluben
OMG!

I think my parents have one of those in the basement!!!!!

The front looks exactly the same as that one, and it's probably from the 70's!

When the speakers went out, the reciever got banished to basement storage. The only thing I remember about it (I was just a kid last time I used it) was that the radio reception was amazing.

I will have to ask my mom to dig it out and give it to me
I was lucky enough to have a father that used to be obsessed with audio. I have a beautiful old Kenwod Model 600 amp because of it
post #18 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by xluben
OMG!

I think my parents have one of those in the basement!!!!!

The front looks exactly the same as that one, and it's probably from the 70's!

When the speakers went out, the reciever got banished to basement storage. The only thing I remember about it (I was just a kid last time I used it) was that the radio reception was amazing.

I will have to ask my mom to dig it out and give it to me
YOU MUST GET IT AND USE IT!

That thing will kick the ARSE of that sony you linked!
post #19 of 84
Why are you only considering floor standing speakers? There are many good bookshelf speakers that could sound great on some nice affordable stands. Have you considered Paradigm's Atoms?
post #20 of 84
And you can add a 'proper' woofer later to compensate for the deep bass which most bookshelfs lack.

Make sure your preamplifier/ intergrated/ receiver can take in the subwoofer if you plan to do so.

My room is small and it is inconvenient to have a floorstander so bookshelfs on spiked stands suit me fine
post #21 of 84
Thread Starter 
I'd like something that could produce the full requency response range. If possible I'd like to get at least decent sound without a sub.
post #22 of 84
Thread Starter 
Has anyone actually heard these?

http://www.overstock.com/sm-cat-sdat..._ti-82124.html

I'm pretty sure they're classic 'white van' speakers because you can get them for under $50 a pair, and they only state 20-20Khz frequency response.

Right now I'm still leaning towards the original 5.0 Fluance set I posted. I'll probably just use the towers with the vintage reciever until I get a new reciever.
post #23 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by xluben
I'd like something that could produce the full requency response range. If possible I'd like to get at least decent sound without a sub.
You might get a full frequency response, and the quality of the sound might also suffer, so I am not certain how you are defining "decent sound". I realize that you are on a budget, so I think the best thing to do (which you may have already done) is make a list of what qualities are most important to you. You are not going to get everything on a budget, unless your budget is really grand (and in that case its not really much of a budget).

If it was me being guided by the desire for the best sound quality, I would pick up a Sonic T-amp, and put as much money as possible in my speakers. Recognizing that equipment synergy is important, I would try to find speakers "that tend to play well with others" because I would look to replace the T-amp as soon as some funds become available and you feel the need for an upgrade. Unless you are unhappy with your speakers, they are not something that you need to upgrade on any frequent basis. For me, good speakers should be like good headphones, they should keep sounding better as you improve everything upstream, but they should always try and "play well with others". While I believe in synergy, I find picky equipment a pain because it makes later upgrades very difficult.

Good luck!
post #24 of 84
I'd never put much stock in the specs from a speaker manufacturer (especially one that builds budget stuff) there are WAY too many ways to twist things around to make your system look great... on paper.

Anyway on your budget I would more or less give up the dream of quality 5 channel... unless you want to go used (in which case it will still take some doing) or if you get an amazing deal.

But if you still want 5.1 for movies etc... I would recommend picking up a cheap computer set and using that. I've heard a Creative 5.1 set for around $100 that I think would be acceptable for movies.... though not for 5.1 music. Or stick with your existing setup... though you may run out of room once you add new speakers!

Then use that nice Marantz (you lucky devil you! I wish I found stuff like that lying around!) to power a pair of serious speakers. Klipsch, JBL and Polk all make decent monitors and floorstands that should be in your price range. (The Klipsch floor stands might be too expensive, can't remember... but I know Polk makes a decent sounding one in your range.)

For (possibly better) options I'd Also check-out the Wharfdales mentioned earlier (maybe find some place to audition them) and even consider some mail-order Atom audio stuff. Tons of options in your price range indeed without having to resort to budget brands.

The T-amp is another option. Believe me 15 watts (actually closer to 8 clean) is more than enough to push some speakers to ear-splitting volumes. But finding a good match can be hard. From what I've read you need to find speakers that are around 90 dB/W efficient to be able to get really loud with the t-amp... On the other hand if you aren't a push it to 11 sort of guy, then you can probably get away with 87-89 dB/W efficient speakers. But the t-amp can be a finiky beast so choose speakers carefully (listen to reviews from other t-amp users). Or do what the cool kids do and build speakers specifically for the t-amp!
post #25 of 84
See if the Marantz works first.....then get a pair of bookshelf speakers....they're easier to upgrade. Forget about the floorstanders unless you want something that sounds much worse than you could get with bookshelves.
post #26 of 84
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilikemonkeys
See if the Marantz works first.....then get a pair of bookshelf speakers....they're easier to upgrade. Forget about the floorstanders unless you want something that sounds much worse than you could get with bookshelves.
At this point I dont' see why I'd want great sound from 80-20Khz and nothing below 80! I do have a crappy sub, but that would totally defeat the purpose of having nice bookshelf speakers if I paired them with it. An spending another $200+ on a sub (plus it takes extra room) doesn't seem like a good idea either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blip
I'd never put much stock in the specs from a speaker manufacturer (especially one that builds budget stuff) there are WAY too many ways to twist things around to make your system look great... on paper.

Anyway on your budget I would more or less give up the dream of quality 5 channel... unless you want to go used (in which case it will still take some doing) or if you get an amazing deal.

But if you still want 5.1 for movies etc... I would recommend picking up a cheap computer set and using that. I've heard a Creative 5.1 set for around $100 that I think would be acceptable for movies.... though not for 5.1 music. Or stick with your existing setup... though you may run out of room once you add new speakers!

Then use that nice Marantz (you lucky devil you! I wish I found stuff like that lying around!) to power a pair of serious speakers. Klipsch, JBL and Polk all make decent monitors and floorstands that should be in your price range. (The Klipsch floor stands might be too expensive, can't remember... but I know Polk makes a decent sounding one in your range.)

For (possibly better) options I'd Also check-out the Wharfdales mentioned earlier (maybe find some place to audition them) and even consider some mail-order Atom audio stuff. Tons of options in your price range indeed without having to resort to budget brands.

The T-amp is another option. Believe me 15 watts (actually closer to 8 clean) is more than enough to push some speakers to ear-splitting volumes. But finding a good match can be hard. From what I've read you need to find speakers that are around 90 dB/W efficient to be able to get really loud with the t-amp... On the other hand if you aren't a push it to 11 sort of guy, then you can probably get away with 87-89 dB/W efficient speakers. But the t-amp can be a finiky beast so choose speakers carefully (listen to reviews from other t-amp users). Or do what the cool kids do and build speakers specifically for the t-amp!
I definitely would like 5 channel sound to replace my Panasonic setup, if I get any speakers at all. I may just try to find some towers to pair with the Marantz, but I'm not sure yet. I'll have to try looking into other brands, but I think if I spend $200 on towers now, it will be a lot more later to finish the surround sound setup. I'm also considering the T-Amp, but if I'm going to use the Marantz for stereo, I don't see the need for another stereo amp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by replytoken
You might get a full frequency response, and the quality of the sound might also suffer, so I am not certain how you are defining "decent sound". I realize that you are on a budget, so I think the best thing to do (which you may have already done) is make a list of what qualities are most important to you. You are not going to get everything on a budget, unless your budget is really grand (and in that case its not really much of a budget).

If it was me being guided by the desire for the best sound quality, I would pick up a Sonic T-amp, and put as much money as possible in my speakers. Recognizing that equipment synergy is important, I would try to find speakers "that tend to play well with others" because I would look to replace the T-amp as soon as some funds become available and you feel the need for an upgrade. Unless you are unhappy with your speakers, they are not something that you need to upgrade on any frequent basis. For me, good speakers should be like good headphones, they should keep sounding better as you improve everything upstream, but they should always try and "play well with others". While I believe in synergy, I find picky equipment a pain because it makes later upgrades very difficult.

Good luck!
As for what I want from my setup:

-Less than $250 (shipped) for speakers
-Full range (wo/sub)
-Decent bass (controlled but full)
-Marantz, T-Amp, or Sony off eBay (as a reciever)
-5 channel sound

If I was going to go stereo for now it would have to be with VERY cheap speakers, so that I could upgrade to surround sound later and still be less than $250.

I'm starting to think this isn't possible and I may have to just stick with my Panasonic setup. I have 4.1 computer speakers that were about $50 on my desk, and they sound pretty horrible. I like my Panasonic system much better.

At the moment I have no job, so my girlfriend has talked me out of any major purchases, but I might spend a little of my tax refund when I get that back.
post #27 of 84
You cant get a full range speaker at that price that sounds good, period. You will have to make sacrifices - 20hz to 20khz aint happening. Maybe 35hz to 20khz.
post #28 of 84
Thread Starter 
I picked up the Marantz reciever today!

It is the Model 2240B, which is a 10 watt per channel bonus over the one that Jahn posted. It is in PERFECT working condition. All bulbs are working (unlike many vintage Marantz's I have seen online), but it's very dusty The only thing that could be said is wrong with it is that the thin plastic film covering the brushed metal face has a tear in it. I don't even know if that plastic is supposed to be left on there, but it'd look perfect without (I'm gonna leave it on for now to protect it).

I tried it with some headphones and there does seem to be a slight imbalance (to the right) out of the headphone jack. Luckily it has a nice L/R balance slider, which easily fixes this problem. The analog equalizers (bass, mid, treble knobs, 'Loudness', high filter and low filter) are amazing. Loudness is pretty much a 'V' shaped EQ and I think it sounds pretty good. With it on, and the bass knob turned up, I can get undistorted, visceral bass from my Super.fi 5EB's! I mean, I can actually feel them moving in my ears. It is amazing.

Right now I have it powering two of my crappy satellite computer speakers, with their sub controlled seperately. In doing this I have found that the sub plays frequencies well into the human voice range. I can clearly hear vocals throug the sub

I have now decided to give up on surround sound (as suggested) and try to find some decent towers.

They should be:

-Under $250 shipped
-Frequency response down to ~40hz

My current number one contender seems to be the Fluance SV-8 but they have no specifications posted. They seem to have a ~10-12" side firing sub built in, so I'd think they have a good frequency response range. I have e-mailed them for more details.

Other options:

Infinity Primus 250
Polk R30
JBL E60
Klipsch SF-1
Wharfedale Diamond 8.3
Athena ASF1

But they all seem to be at or above my price range before shipping, so I don't think I'll be able to get any of them.
post #29 of 84
Not too many floor stands for under that price. There are some decent bookshelves that go down almost that low but if you're still stuck on floorstandards... Hmm.... Well if you shop around you should at least be able to find the JBL and the Polk for under that price. Both are okay, though neither is really perfect.

I would go with the Wharfdale Diamond 8.3 though, I know that you can find a pair of those for $200. (In fact that is what they cost right now from buy.com... though they are out of stock)

I know there is another good tower around $200 but it is slipping from my mind. (Is it a KEF maybe?) The other option would be to go used. On your budget that's what I would do... Especially if you can find a used shop around to do a little browsing at.
post #30 of 84
Thread Starter 
2 Diamond 8.3's from Buy.com____$211.98
Shipping and Handling____________$82.77
-----------------------------------------
Total_________________________$294.75

A little out of my price range, and they are out of stock. Maybe by the time I'm ready to get speakers I'll have decided to spend that much, but I'd rather not.

The only way I'd buy used speakers is if I could do it in person, and test them/see them. I don't really know of any used speaker shops, but I'm in Minneapolis, so I'm sure there's some around. I know of a Pawn America that I might check out sometime soon.
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