Budget budget speakers
Sep 28, 2004 at 8:38 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 34


100+ Head-Fier
May 24, 2004
First off, I would like to describe my situation. I am a college student and I need to get some speakers since I sold my Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 to my brother who just went off to his first year at school. I wanted to get speakers that were an upgrade to the ProMedia in sound quality. This was mainly because when I listened to them in comparison to my Beyerdynamic DT531, I was less than impressed with the speakers that I used to love.

So my main target was the Swans m200 multimedia speakers from newegg.com for $169. I have heard them and they sound great and would be perfect next to my computer. But they buying process has been a total disaster. I have been ready to pull the trigger for about 2 months now but they haven't been in stock at all during that time period. They fit the price point and the quality I was hoping to get.

So, I have started to look for speakers on the cheaper side and also for an amp on the cheaper side. The size of the speakers can't be more than 8" wide. I would be willing to *maybe* hit the $250 total mark with an amp. These speakers do not have to be the best, but like I said before I was hoping to get speakers that are simlar in sound quality to my DT531. Maybe this is possible, maybe it isn't. I would like to hear some suggestions on true budget speakers and amps.

The speakers I have seen in this range include: Advent AS2 Floorstanders, Infinity Entra Floorstanders, Harmon Kardom HKTW Floorstanders and a couple Polk Audio and Jensen Floorstanders. I really don't know too much about speaker setups and obviosuly wouldn't mind bookshelf style speakers either but the main problem is I don't have any stands and that would likely put me over my limited college style budget. The nice thing about the Swans was that they were shielded self powered multimedia speakers at a bargain price. Hopefully, somebody here can point me in the right direction.


Sep 28, 2004 at 11:15 PM Post #2 of 34
Also, I would like to post this at a speaker based forums so that it could be hit by more speaker people who might have some more insight.

I visited audioasylum but I was hoping to find a better organized speaker type forum like this one. I think I'll post there but I'd appreciate any other suggestions and of course actual help on the speaker situation.


Sep 28, 2004 at 11:59 PM Post #4 of 34
That amp has finally been reviewed: http://www.sixmoons.com/audioreviews/sonicimpact/t.html

I would probably have to go that route myself if I were strictly restricted to a tiny budget.

You should probably go to your local stores and audition what you can. If you find something you like, great, if not, take a leap of faith.
Sep 29, 2004 at 12:05 AM Post #5 of 34
The Mission speakers are awesome. I listened to the M71 and considered them seriously before buying another brand.

I would also recommend the Athena Technologies bookshelf speakers; they are available at Best Buy. Don't dismiss them just because they're being sold at Best Buy because these speakers are the real deal. Athena is the budget brand from the company that also produce Energy and Mirage speakers.

At your price point, I would seriously recommend against buying floorstanding speakers....too many compromises.
Sep 29, 2004 at 1:01 AM Post #6 of 34
I think that logitech z680's are the best bugget speakers. They arent too accurate, and with out the sub on they sound awful, but boy do they get loud (which is great for college). not to mention they have built in decoder.
Sep 29, 2004 at 1:07 AM Post #7 of 34
All I have to say is that the Mission M71s (which I recently bought over a couple pairs of $500 to $600 loudspeakers) beat the s**t out of the Z-680s (which I have heard, but do not own; I own the Z-5300s). The only thing - I emphasiz only - that the Logitechs do and the Missions do not is produce loud thumping, bond crushing (and extremely annoying) bass. That's actually a drawback, I think, since you can't make them NOT produce that bass, as far as I am aware. In imaging, soundstaging, smoothness, dynamics, high frequency extension, and musicality, the Missions blow the Logitechs out of the water. 'Nuff said.
Sep 29, 2004 at 2:23 AM Post #8 of 34
I just got one of the T-amps the other day and that little thing is blowing my mind. im using it in my bedroom with a toshiba 4900 or the chaintech. Running it off a 12v wall wart. Was using a old pioneer home theater reciever and the difference is truly stunning. It and the Athena asb1 from bestbuy (149.99) would be a great sounding little system but might not crank up real loud.
Sep 29, 2004 at 7:56 AM Post #9 of 34
That little amp definitely looks like the ticket for me and that review just convinced me even more of that fact.

It is certainly looking like bookshelves would be the best value especially with one of the Mission models which seem to be a very good buy. My problem is that even though the speakers may be cheaper, the stands for them may offset this. It would be neat to mount them on the wall but it might be tough since I have block walls in my room (single by the way). Unless they can sit on my desk next to my computer, which I'm not sure I want them to or not, they would have to be mounted somehow, stand or otherwise.

If I did go the way of floorstanders, what would be a good value in my price range (now at about $150-$200 for the speakers since the amp is so cheap)? Also, could this mini amp power speakers of such large stature? I don't really know too much about the powering of speakers. If the floorstanders just don't compare in this range then I'm sure with the combined intellect of this great community we can come up with someway to get the bookshelves to work with price constraints and everything.

Sportajoe: How did you hook up a power supply to the T-amp? I would like to have access to my rechargable batteries instead of having them all tied up in the amp as well as adding some addtional oomph to that tiny amp.
Sep 29, 2004 at 8:22 AM Post #10 of 34
The amp's got a wallwart jack.

Just put your speakers on your desk for the time being. Make sure you don't put books under them. It's not ideal, but it will let you save up for whatever option you want to go for next.

You won't get any good floorstanders for 1 or 2 times your budget.
Sep 29, 2004 at 1:38 PM Post #11 of 34

You won't get any good floorstanders for 1 or 2 times your budget.

Not true at all

I am very pleased with my Advent AS2 floorstander speakers, that I paid under $150 for the pair.

He could also DIY his own floorstanders for what his budget comprises.


Also, could this mini amp power speakers of such large stature? I don't really know too much about the powering of speakers.

What you want is sensitivity. This amp IS a true amplifier. It is comparable to an SET, which is very low power. 5 Watts of power is adequate, provided you have sensitive speakers.

Run of thumb is that for every double in power, you increase the volume by 3dB (an increase in 10dB is roughly twice the volume as perceived by our ears). So to power speakers with 90dB sensitivity, 1 watt of power will allow a sustained volume of 90dB. 2 watts- 93db. Keep in mind of course that music can have dynamics, and you should make sure to calculate accordingly.

In case anyone is wondering, this is why SET guys usually use horn speakers, because of their superior sensitivity of 100dB+
Sep 29, 2004 at 5:07 PM Post #12 of 34

Not true at all

I am very pleased with my Advent AS2 floorstander speakers, that I paid under $150 for the pair.

Fine, have it your way.
Sep 29, 2004 at 7:46 PM Post #13 of 34
Hey Stromie, Like ooheadso says its got a jack for a wallwart on the back. (sold seperately) There are some threads over on AA in the amps asylum you should search and read. Im running a 12v 1000ma wallwart i had laying around with a built in ferrite choke on the end. Sounds fine and i cant tell a difference from the batteries. positive is the center pin.

Sep 29, 2004 at 10:45 PM Post #15 of 34
Here's another thing. I have a preamp already from my Yamaha DP-U50 that should have a bunch of power. How that affect my power output from the amplifier?

Also, has anyone here purchased from the Stereo Trading Outlet before since it looks like I'll be getting something from them whether it be bookshelves or floorstanding speakers. Right now I am looking at their selection since their prices seem very fair for everything they are selling. Also, they are closer to me so shipping isn't too ridiculous.

Once again, thanx for all the recommendations. Currently, I am looking at more information for the Mission bookshelves (70 and 72), the Wharfedale floorstanders and possibly the Mission floorstanders (pushing it but possible).

So lets keep the recommendations, critisisms and information flowing. All are very much appreciated!


Users who are viewing this thread