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$500 bedroom setup suggestions

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 

Hello all:

 

I'm planning on building a HTPC which will stream all my movies and music to my 40" TV in my bedroom. The TV is on a TV stand on my bureau with just enough space for some bookshelf speakers. The bureau is located just a few feet away from my bed. Thus, I was looking for some good quality passive bookshelves for around $500-$600. I don't think I should go for near fields as the sound would still have to project around the room. Any suggestions?

 

For reference I've looked at:

AudioEngine A5+

Definitive Tech 450

Kef Q100

Energy RC-10

Paradigm Mini Monitor

post #2 of 51

I'm actually looking for roughly the same thing but for my small home office. I think one important thing you have to consider is speaker placement. How far the speakers will be from a wall/corner cause bass will get flabby especially if the speaker is rear ported. Also placing them on a desk might cause reflections off the surface. I got the RC10 on sale last week and it doesn't work for me because I have to place it too close to a wall and they are also rear ported. Have a look at Monitor Audio, Focal, and Wharfedale they are some others I have been considering (leaning toward Monitor Audio BX2).

post #3 of 51
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by alv4426 View Post
 

I'm actually looking for roughly the same thing but for my small home office. I think one important thing you have to consider is speaker placement. How far the speakers will be from a wall/corner cause bass will get flabby especially if the speaker is rear ported. Also placing them on a desk might cause reflections off the surface. I got the RC10 on sale last week and it doesn't work for me because I have to place it too close to a wall and they are also rear ported. Have a look at Monitor Audio, Focal, and Wharfedale they are some others I have been considering (leaning toward Monitor Audio BX2).

 

 

Yeah, I've noticed that speaker placement is everything when it comes to audio. I figured my situation would be a little tricky as placing it on a desk instead of a speaker stand would create some distortions along the room dynamics (my bedroom has a high ceiling and hardwood floors - it's an old Victorian house). 

 

I just stopped by my local stereo dealer and he recommended to me some Definitive Tech Studio 55 Monitors. They sound like a pretty good deal and they're similarly spec'ed as those BX2's.


Edited by hikaru12 - 2/15/14 at 8:41pm
post #4 of 51
AudioEngine A5+ are powered speakers, not passive.

Paradigm Mini Monitors probably really need a sub given their frequency response rating.

What do you have to power your passive speakers? Or is that part of your budget, too? Are you eventually going to add a subwoofer?

Energy RC-10s are good *if* Frys happens to put them on sale again at $199 as they did a week or so ago. Otherwise, finding a new pair now that they have been discontinued a while would be really expensive.

Look also into EMP Tek E5Bi, Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SEs and Arx A1bs. Those are Internet direct brands that offer really good values.

Focal Chorus 705V are definitely also worth a look.
post #5 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by alv4426 View Post

. I got the RC10 on sale last week and it doesn't work for me because I have to place it too close to a wall and they are also rear ported.

I thought that the RC-10s normally come with port plugs in the box (???) exactly for this kind of situation. It will change the tuning point on the speakers, making them roll of in bass sooner, but that will eliminate the problem with placing the ports near the walls.
post #6 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


I thought that the RC-10s normally come with port plugs in the box (???) exactly for this kind of situation. It will change the tuning point on the speakers, making them roll of in bass sooner, but that will eliminate the problem with placing the ports near the walls.

They  do come with plugs but sound worse to me with the plugs in. i preferred the loose bass to no bass and they are less lively too. They are really good speakers though, they work great in my living room nothing will beat them for $200. Although they are truthfully OK in my situation its not good enough for me but I'm gonna have to spend over double the money to improve.

post #7 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

AudioEngine A5+ are powered speakers, not passive.

Paradigm Mini Monitors probably really need a sub given their frequency response rating.

What do you have to power your passive speakers? Or is that part of your budget, too? Are you eventually going to add a subwoofer?

Energy RC-10s are good *if* Frys happens to put them on sale again at $199 as they did a week or so ago. Otherwise, finding a new pair now that they have been discontinued a while would be really expensive.

Look also into EMP Tek E5Bi, Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SEs and Arx A1bs. Those are Internet direct brands that offer really good values.

Focal Chorus 705V are definitely also worth a look.

 

The $500 to $600 budget is for the speakers themselves. I don't mind getting active speakers but from what I understand it's better to have a separate amp as you have greater control and better quality parts then if it's integrated in the active speakers themselves. I'm planning on budgeting $200 to $300 max on a integrated amp.

post #8 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

AudioEngine A5+ are powered speakers, not passive.

Paradigm Mini Monitors probably really need a sub given their frequency response rating.

What do you have to power your passive speakers? Or is that part of your budget, too? Are you eventually going to add a subwoofer?

Energy RC-10s are good *if* Frys happens to put them on sale again at $199 as they did a week or so ago. Otherwise, finding a new pair now that they have been discontinued a while would be really expensive.

Look also into EMP Tek E5Bi, Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SEs and Arx A1bs. Those are Internet direct brands that offer really good values.
 

 

I'm planning on spending $500 to $600 on the speakers themselves. The amp is not included in the budget. I would be willing to spend $200 to $300 max on a integrated amp. From what I understand it's better to have a separate amp rather than have it integrated in the speakers themselves as is the case with the AudioEngine's. They're a pretty good deal for the price because at that point I wouldn't have to spend money on a DAC right away but I'm planning on getting a ODac + Integrated amp + Passive Bookshelves and eventually add a sub later on down the road. I do listen to a fair amount of bass heavy music so it would be nice to have a low frequency speaker to handle that in the meantime while I save up for a sub.

post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by alv4426 View Post

They  do come with plugs but sound worse to me with the plugs in. i preferred the loose bass to no bass and they are less lively too. They are really good speakers though, they work great in my living room nothing will beat them for $200. Although they are truthfully OK in my situation its not good enough for me but I'm gonna have to spend over double the money to improve.

Yeah. They probably would need a good sub to work well with the ports plugged.
post #10 of 51
If you have room for it, look into audio/video receivers by Denon, Yamaha, Pioneer, and Onkyo. Because there is such a big market for them, economies of scale on production and competition in the marketplace often makes them a very good price/performance value. Plus, they offer a lot of versatility for building out a system with later on (should you chose), and they have bass management capabilities for optimizing subwoofer integration. Check Amazon, Crutchfield, and Newegg for discounted models.

I used to own the Energy RC-10s, and I would recommend the ARX, Ascend Acoustics, and Focal Chorus over them.

Given your desire for bass, I would stick to drivers at least 5" or greater with a bass reflex design (which means a port). Ported speakers tend to have lower bass output than sealed speakers.

I have heard some good things about the Definitive Tech Studio 55 Monitors (although I have not heard them). However, if you ever wanted to add a center channel for your setup for movie watching, I'm not sure that Def Tech makes a matching center channel for that series because they are meant to be monitors for 2 channel audio.
post #11 of 51

Another pair of speakers to consider:  Pioneer SP-BS22-LR

post #12 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

If you have room for it, look into audio/video receivers by Denon, Yamaha, Pioneer, and Onkyo. Because there is such a big market for them, economies of scale on production and competition in the marketplace often makes them a very good price/performance value. Plus, they offer a lot of versatility for building out a system with later on (should you chose), and they have bass management capabilities for optimizing subwoofer integration. Check Amazon, Crutchfield, and Newegg for discounted models.

I used to own the Energy RC-10s, and I would recommend the ARX, Ascend Acoustics, and Focal Chorus over them.

Given your desire for bass, I would stick to drivers at least 5" or greater with a bass reflex design (which means a port). Ported speakers tend to have lower bass output than sealed speakers.

I have heard some good things about the Definitive Tech Studio 55 Monitors (although I have not heard them). However, if you ever wanted to add a center channel for your setup for movie watching, I'm not sure that Def Tech makes a matching center channel for that series because they are meant to be monitors for 2 channel audio.

 

My biggest concern with A/V receivers are they usually lack a punch because they have bloated amp ratings as most amps do around that price point anyway. Out of the suggestions you listed I really like those Focal Chorus. I don't know if I would want to add a center because I have my own HT setup dedicated to just watching movies but it might be worth it since I will be using this for movies quite often.

post #13 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by hikaru12 View Post

My biggest concern with A/V receivers are they usually lack a punch because they have bloated amp ratings as most amps do around that price point anyway.

I don't get that because amps don't have punch to me. But yes. Some are overspecd with their ratings. Some are not. But even this Yamaha RX-V475, which is lower end, has an abysmal 5 channel output, but does put out 85 watts/channel into 8 ohms with .1 distortion. That's pretty good considering it has been down around $300 several times. Or what about this HK 1700, which also has sold at $300 or less and can output close to 100 watts per channel into stereo. Or even this Pioneer VSX-821 can hit almost 65 watts for 2 channel audio, and it has sold very cheap (under $200 on sale). That's about the best you can hope for with a $300 budget. Besides, anything from 50 to 100 watts will likely be fine because the difference between that amount of power is only 3db in output. It takes 10db of increased output for a perceived doubling in volume.
post #14 of 51

Another option which has not been mentioned is to take the entire speaker + amp + subwoofer budget and get a really nice soundbar/subwoofer. I am currently using a Sony soundbar/subwoofer (which cost less than $300) for a secondary TV setup in a spare bedroom. Works and sounds great, plus the subwoofer module is also the amp/DAC/control module and has multiple inputs so I have the audio output from the cable box, the audio from the Blu-ray player and the audio from a media player all connected to and controlled by the Sony soundbar. Simple and very cost effective. For me the biggest benefit is that the soundbar makes a very nice center channel speaker, which is essential when watching TV and videos. The picture below has all the components labeled.

 

post #15 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


I don't get that because amps don't have punch to me. But yes. Some are overspecd with their ratings. Some are not. But even this Yamaha RX-V475, which is lower end, has an abysmal 5 channel output, but does put out 85 watts/channel into 8 ohms with .1 distortion. That's pretty good considering it has been down around $300 several times. Or what about this HK 1700, which also has sold at $300 or less and can output close to 100 watts per channel into stereo. Or even this Pioneer VSX-821 can hit almost 65 watts for 2 channel audio, and it has sold very cheap (under $200 on sale). That's about the best you can hope for with a $300 budget. Besides, anything from 50 to 100 watts will likely be fine because the difference between that amount of power is only 3db in output. It takes 10db of increased output for a perceived doubling in volume.

 

Hmm so power ratings don't have much impact after all. In that case, I might go with any one of your suggestions. I mean how loud do I really need it for one room anyway? Those suggestions sound like they would be fine. I'm not running floorstanders that need to shake the house.

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