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Are there any good ~$500 floor standers? - Page 2

post #16 of 63
post #17 of 63
Originally Posted by Pibborando View Post
I figure you guys could help me out with another question. Could someone explain what exactly bi-wiring is/does and how it changes things from running one pair of wires to the binding posts and using a bridge?
don't worry about bi-wiring or bi-amping at this point. just focus on finding the best speakers for you. it's debatable whether bi-wiring even makes a difference, certainly much less of one than the speakers themselves, so don't muddy up your brain with it.

the most important thing: AUDITION AUDITION AUDITION. because everyone has different tastes.
post #18 of 63
I'm not Canadian, but I've always found PSB and Paradigm to make excellent speakers for the price. I have owned PSB Stratus Silver i's, Alphas, Image 2Bs, an Image 6C, and the Stratus center. I know there were some Image floorstanders in that range, and all the Image series uses the same drivers.
post #19 of 63
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by brianth View Post
I'm not Canadian, but I've always found PSB and Paradigm to make excellent speakers for the price. I have owned PSB Stratus Silver i's, Alphas, Image 2Bs, an Image 6C, and the Stratus center. I know there were some Image floorstanders in that range, and all the Image series uses the same drivers.
Wow, looking at the Image line of PSB speakers, they're NICE looking. But doing a quick froogle, it seems that those towers are going for around $800 - $1200 for a pair.
post #20 of 63
I would look for a used set of PSB Stratus Bronzes (below the Silver), on Audiogon (a set is listed for 425 plus shipping)...great performance for the money. If you are sticking w/the Denon receiver, then there is not really a need for anything more than the Bronzes; they will scale nicely with an improved source/amp. They are probably even overkill for the Denon. They should give you clear/smooth and defined highs, with some good, detailed kick in the bass area, too. Oh yea...they look very nice.

The JMLab Cobalts (floorstanding models) are also nice; they have a bit more up-front sound, especially in the highs (IMO). You could probably find the non "S" model, in the 500 dollar area.

You won't get "sub" bass, but you can get surprisingly pleasing - tight, yet full and defined bass with a floor stander - easily enough to fill a room. Subs can be difficult to integrate into a system (and they need to be a solid performer to do so).

Once again, speakers are going to be limited by the front end equip you use; source/amp improvements will bring out the most in your speakers (if you are still not "satisfied"). Once again, don't expect miracles, unless you match all of your equipment to a similar "level". I can't guarantee that you will fully appreciate the upgrade, depending on the whole of your setup (and your expectations).
post #21 of 63
I am really surprised no one has mentioned Athena , another Canadian company that makes great speakers.Their entry level floorstanders can be had for less than $500 a pair and sound great for the money.
post #22 of 63

Truly Awesome speakers

Originally Posted by golgi View Post
Actually the MMG, is down to 40hz so it's considered a full range speaker. It's not going to sound boomy with bass so some people interpret this as bass shy which actually isn't the case.

I like bass as much as the next guy, not abnormally boomy bass but accurate clean bass. These puppies can't be beat for the money. You'll have a clean accurate soundstage with accurate bass. If later you find need more, they are super with a sub as well. You can't go wrong either way.
post #23 of 63
I can also second the Maggie MMG recommendation above. New and at list, the PSB Image towers are priced above your range, but used they fall under $500. I just saw a pair of PSB Silver i's on Audiogon for $600. That would have been an incredible deal (they were sold, of course).
post #24 of 63
Thread Starter 
People have recomended the Athena AS-F2's but what about the new LS-500B? It's supposed to be improved over the AS series and I can get a pair for $400 from Amazon.

Anyone heard them?

Also, if I scored a cheaper pair of towers, anyone have any suggestions for some GOOD, but not too expensive subs to look into? Like around $300?

edit: How about the Hsu STF-2?
post #25 of 63
Do you guys that are recommending the Magnepans actually have them or are you recommending them based on reputation/price?

If you people do actually have them, how do they sound? I am a predominant rock listener, so would these sound well with rock? (Couldn't find a freq. response chart.)

n00b question. So, i have an older onkyo receiver that outputs at 8ohms... and i understand using these speakers with this reciever can damage the reciever, does that mean that they WILL be damaged no matter what, or only if i am playing them at too high of volumes?
post #26 of 63
I have the MMGs, and a pair of 3.3rs. My speaker cronology is Allison One, Ohm L, McIntosh XD717, Final 0.3, Magnepan MMG, Magnepan 3.3r. Which makes me 50 years old. For many years I was happy with the Macs and the 12 inch drivers gave me all the bass I needed, old rockers love bass. When 5.1 came around they performed great in theater mode. Another room in the house became available and I had the chance to start completely new and leave my main system in the living room. In the addictive search for "something better" I became interested in electrostatics and planars in general. I listened to various Martin Logans at a local dealer and really liked the accuracy, soundstage, etc. But the price -WOW. At that time a dealer was offing new pairs of Final 0.3 electrostats, a ML like hybrid that has an 8 inch tuneable woofer coupled with 6x50 inch panel. These are ok but were too sterile sounding for me. I purchased the MMGs new and was instantly wow-ed. You get all of the music that is supposed to be there. What you don't get is speaker cabinet resonation. With both my pairs of Maggies, and the Finals, you don't get that bass coupling to the floor effect. You do get all the sound.
That's not to say that there is no vibration or LFE whatsoever. It is just not like what you get when you have a big heavy box sitting on the floor pumping bass. I believe the company still offers them with a money back, so you really can't go wrong. If you need the LFE, I can say I have tried them out with a Klipsch KSW250 subwoofer and the combo worked out really well.
Hope it helps and didn't mean to bore ya'.

post #27 of 63
I've had my maggies for about 9 years now. I'm really happy with them. The sound is really open and with some recordings, just completely immerses you in sound. When you get maggies, you should be prepared for the time you will spend listening to your albums. What happens is you'll get the speakers and then hear a couple of your favorite recordings and be wow'd by them. Then you wont be able to resist going through your entire music collection to see how it sounds with the speakers.

When you listen to them it's like you're getting some insight into your recordings in comparison to other speakers. Kinda like an aural window has been opened up before you.

So, I think you may want to go hear some before your final purchase.
post #28 of 63
Thread Starter 
If I got the MMGs, either as this next upgrade or some time in the future, what of sub would go best with them (for pumpin' EDM -electronic dance music- or movies)? I'd imagine something very musical and fast to keep up with the panels?

I asked about the HSU STF-2 before, what about two of those? Can the maggies achieve a theater-like presentation with the addition of a nice sub or two? I could see the big wall of sound they put out being very enveloping.
post #29 of 63
Originally Posted by Pibborando View Post
Now that I actually have some income, I think I will be upgrading my current set-up at some point in the coming months. I am currently using the Insigna bookshelves with a Sony 8" sub and an older Denon reciever.

I have been reasonably satisfied with this for a while, especially for paying only $180 for everything, but the auditory flaws are apparent to me even though I havn't heard much "high-end" stuff. The Sony woofer is rather boomy and not too musical, and the Insignias are not as crisp and detailed as I would like.

I am thinking about moving into floor standers because of the more even response across the frequency range (positioning and integrating a sub is a pain, and sometimes just doesn't match well), and not having to buy a sub. Also, my stands are crap and I don't want to spend more money on nice stands.

I'm thinking about saving up about $500 for a pair, because I am also saving up for college and an apartment, so I can't stretch this to several thousand

My question is, are there any decent floor standers for around $500? As in, you could actually live with them. I've looked at Klipsch (RF-10), JBL (L880), Infinity (BETA 50) and Wharfedale (Diamond 8.4).

I've mostly got two concerns, 1) How good do they sound? and 2) Can I use them sans woofer and get a full listening experience?

I know at this pricerange, I'm going to be skimping on something, but can it still be worth it?

Save yourself some money and buy the Polk 10 Monitors or the R-55i's and some speaker stands. The 10's are heavy and require local pickup but usually sell for less than $150 a pair and there are plenty of people in the Polk forum who absolutely swear by them.

Monitor 10's

The RT-55i's are a newer speaker than the Monitor 10's and were Polk's best bookshelf speaker when manufactured and sell routinely on that auction site for around $200 + shipping.

Polk RT55i
post #30 of 63
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the feedback, but I might just go throw a curve in here.

After all this looking around, and realizing that I will probably end up getting a much nicer sub sometime soon anyway... I think I might end up going with bookshelves, as the same price will make a significant difference in sound over floorstanders of the same range. That and shipping on these towers is crazy.

Ok. So here's my NEW list of things I'm looking at. Feel free to suggest alts.

- B&W DM 602 s3 (or s2) - I am looking for used since retail is $600 but I have only heard amazing things about this one.

- B&W DM 601 s3 - I can get new for $300. Is the 602 a significant improvement?

- Paradigm Focus

(my local hi-fi place has B&Ws and Paradigms to demo, so I'm going to go listen at some point)

- Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 (or 9.2 if found cheap)

- Axiom Audio M3 v2

- Onix x-ls - My budget option at $220 new. I've heard they are amazing but maybe not as athoritative as the others and may not sound as BIG as I would prefer (although I like their looks)

Oh, and on subwoofers. I just saw those Dayton subs at partsexpress. Holy crap a 12" 150W sub for $150? Would the smaller 10" version perform better (smaller woofer, faster response?)? Or would one of those HSU subs be a better investment? What about 2 subs?
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