New house, new speaker system...Good research websites?
Jun 23, 2009 at 3:47 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 24


New Head-Fier
Jul 5, 2007
Been living (consequently, listening) with some DT880s and a Little Dot II+ for about two years now. It's been pure bliss, but recently, I acquired a house and want to setup a serious speaker system.

Therefore it's research time, but I don't know of any online speaker communities that I trust like Head-fi. Any suggestions?

Some rambling:
I was hoping to grab a turntable, a couple of floorstanding speakers, and a sub for less then $3000. Feel free to recommend your favorites. The detail and natural sound is wonderful on the 880s, but I often listen to dubstep or berghain techno and I want a setup that I can feel as well as hear. Ya, I'm a basshead, but not with all music.
Jun 23, 2009 at 3:55 PM Post #2 of 24
If you're putting together a room I'd recommend you do wiring for a typical 7.1 speaker system (so that's 7 runs of speaker cable, 1 RCA for subwoofer, HDMI leads from sources to display, or just 1 from av amp to display). Also home networking for media streamer, and perhaps telephone/DSL and sky feed. You may want to expand your stereo to home cinema later on. For a bachelor the cables along skirting boards isn't a problem but women dislike cables.

$3000 isn't a lot for a turntable, phono stage, floorstanding speakers, a stereo integrated amplifier, and a subwoofer.

This place is mainly for headphone users, I'd check out avsforums.
Jun 23, 2009 at 4:11 PM Post #3 of 24
Thanks iriverdude.

*Opens AVSforums tab*

Ya, might have to scrounge up some extra cash to get a serious system. I'll sleep on the floor and eat ramen if it means setting up a quality listening room...
Jun 23, 2009 at 6:26 PM Post #4 of 24
Well you can get a pretty good system for 3 grand, everyone doesnt have to have the BEST.

Rega P1 or Porject Debut III for 500$ or Step up to P3 if you want to invest more on Vinyl (P3 setup for around 1000$)
Camrbidge 540P or 640P for 100-200$
Cambridge 540A,640A or Onkyo 9555 or NAD entry level for 500-600$
You can get really good speakers for 1000$ you might not need a subwoofer for that.

And you still have between 500-1000$ left for doing whatever else you want or upgrading one of the above components.
Jun 23, 2009 at 9:10 PM Post #5 of 24
I say go used. Audiogon is your friend. There are so many good deals to be had these days its outrageous.

If you're talking about DJ vinyl, you might want to look at the KAB 1200's. They are supposed to be quite good. I've never compared them to an entry level Rega though so I can't say for sure how good.

How big is your room? You might want to consider speakers based on your room size. A home system is MUCH different from headphones in terms of equipment because the Room adds and subtracts so much from your overall sound. Speaker / Room interaction will wreak absolute HAVOC with your bass response. I think your best bet is to go with a set of nice monitors with punchy midbass and a nice sub with EQ so that you can cancel a room node out. This will give you the best bass response. I know Dubstep has those crazy basslines and you definitely want to hear the details and not a 6db room node instead.

Audiocircle, Audio Asylum (to a degree...sometimes not so friendly on that forum) and Audiogon are pretty helpful.
Jun 23, 2009 at 9:10 PM Post #6 of 24
Be sure to measure your room. Make allowances for room treatments which are going to be vital if the room has lots of windows or a weird floor. Plenty of things to look into before you buy.

Go with good used gear and a very slow pace. Should be fine.
Jun 23, 2009 at 9:48 PM Post #7 of 24
One more thing. I think you should select your speaker first, and then get the rest of your equipment. Nothing affects your sound more than your speakers. If you can visit shops and listen and try to get a feel for their sound it would be very beneficial.

Some brands you might want to investigate:

Usher (I have the S520's which are an incredible value, but their woofer gets overloaded easily so either cross it over or don't listen to dubstep with these)
Salk Sound (internet only but many very satisfied customers)
Paradigm (20, 40 or 60 v4)
Von Schweikert (VR1 is another great deal)
PSB (Synchrony)
Zaph Audio SR71 DIY's (couple prebuilt on Audiogon Right now)
ACI (Internet only as well, also very well reviewed. Sapphire and Emerald XL's)

Enjoy! Home audio can get addicting and expensive very fast.
Jun 23, 2009 at 11:04 PM Post #8 of 24

Originally Posted by recca /img/forum/go_quote.gif
One more thing. I think you should select your speaker first, and then get the rest of your equipment. Nothing affects your sound more than your speakers. If you can visit shops and listen and try to get a feel for their sound it would be very beneficial.

Absolutely agree. After speakers, I'd say analog source comes next, but speakers are first by a long shot.

Also, to the op - I highly recommend giving Tannoy dual-concentrics a shot if you can get your ears on some. There's occasional screaming bargains on Tannoys in the audiogon listings - many good models to choose from. It's worth blowing the majority of your budget to get into the upper lines (Prestige, Dimension, Definition, D700, ect), but the midrange lines are also VERY good (Eyris DC, Revolution Signature...). Get by with lower priced electronics until you can upgrade...but get the speakers you want and be DONE with that!
Jun 24, 2009 at 12:08 AM Post #9 of 24
For new speakers:

Polk Audio LSi15, RTi8, RTi10
Definitive Tech Mythos One
Martin Logan Preface or Source
Onix Mini Strata

Personally, I like vintage speakers because they tend to provide amazing sound for a low price:

Polk Audio SDA-1C and SDA-2B or above. Monitor 5 or above. LS70 or above. RTA 8TL or RTA 11TL or above.
Vandersteen 2CE (I think it's 2CE that doesn't need refoaming).
Jun 25, 2009 at 4:49 PM Post #10 of 24
I agree with what was said about spending the lion's share of the budget on speakers. AV123 is one of my favorites, all of their stuff is great bang for the buck. I also agree with the vintage suggestion: My Altec Valencias are older than I am but they hold their own with some of my other speakers costing big $$$. I also like old Sansui and Infinity. Check out Oak Tree Vintage for great deals on used speakers Used & Vintage Home Audio / Stereo Speakers… Ready to GO! Refurbished & Fully Tested.
If you can get over the old school look, oldies can really outperform many modern expensive speakers.
Jun 26, 2009 at 2:31 AM Post #11 of 24
Many thanks, everyone! This is a great starting point for my journey to bankruptcy and happiness. I never expected so many suggestions.

I'll post again once I've become knowledgeable and decided on some gear.
Jun 26, 2009 at 2:41 AM Post #12 of 24
I can't recommend any speakers since I'm not much of a basshead, but I strongly recommend buying used. Your money will go much farther and you'll be able to get your money out if you decide to sell.

I'd suggest going on Audiogon and running an advanced search restricted to zip codes around you. See what's local and start Googling those models. If the reviews sound good, go over for an audition. You'll know if you like them that way.

Buy the amp depending on what speakers you choose. Amps are different and you'll want to match one to your speakers.

For turntables, I think the used Rega Planar 3 I had was a fantastic deal. I like the Michell Orbe better, but the Rega is plenty good enough to live with happily. If I set up a second system some day, I'd probably buy another one.
Jun 29, 2009 at 4:00 AM Post #13 of 24
Whew. My head is spinning, full of reviews and opinions.

I actually was able to track down a few auditions in this hellish part of the country at a home theater store....The used market is dead here.
-I liked the Def Tech Mythos One speakers alright, but they seemed harsh, such that blending them with a sub would be difficult. (plus an unimpressive cabinet)
-Various Klipsch: were generally too precise and lifeless
-Martin Logan Preface: My personal favorite, not too harsh but powerful highs and decent mids. Maybe not the ML sound, but I still enjoyed them.

However, I've read a lot of opinions that the Preface is not really worth the price of entry, and that many internet direct speakers are just as good for less.

I'm now looking at the Rocket 850s from (which just had a storm of bad publicity and angry customers), the Diva 6.1 (6.2s?) by Swan, and Aperion intimus 6T. Anyone have blanket encouragement/warnings for me?

Pair one of those up with a KAB 1200, a Rotel or Anthem (Int 225?) amp, a nice sub, and I think I'll be good to go. My room is around 20x10, with a wood floor.

Speaker shopping ain't for sissies. *looks longingly at Senn HD800s* More later...
Jun 29, 2009 at 4:27 AM Post #14 of 24
Wow. You opinions on the Def Tech Mythos One and the Klipsch are so unlike my impressions of them. Lol. I thought the Klipsch were TOO energetic due to the emphasis on highs and lows and I thought the Mythos One are pretty nice and smooth. Are you describing it's dynamics as harsh? I like the dynamics on the Mythos One since it means it can keep up with busy music.

I would avoid AV123 products for now unless you get them used. But even then it is iffy because if AV123 folds, then you're stuck with speakers which are unlikely to be repaired if they break. Unless you can hunt down the components.

Swan speakers are excellent. Also, check out Ascend Acoustics speakers. Their previous speakers were very well-rounded, but not really outstanding (aka didn't have weak points, but didn't have strong points). However, their new series, the Sierra's, are said to be some of the best sounding speakers out there. Just stick them on a speaker stand and you're set to go. Never heard Aperion speakers.

For amps, most models of Rotel, some of the models of Carver, most models of Adcom, Emotiva, Acurus, B&K, Outlaw Audio, and some models of Hafler seem to have the best bang for the buck power, sound, and stability.

For a sub, check out: Energy S10.3 10" 200W black ash subwoofer ( 10821) at | features

IMO, at this price, one of the best bang for the buck subs out there.
Jun 30, 2009 at 3:52 AM Post #15 of 24
Well folks, I'm back to report my decision:
I've been compelled to choose the following setup: A Kab SL1200 (I DJ sometimes), 2 Outlaw 200w monoblocks, an Epik sealed sub (Vanquish or !! Dragon), and Axiom M80s (runner up/back up: Diva 6.2).

Pretty much ready to pull the trigger on these and get them in the mail, with reviews to follow.

What I'm unsure of is a proper preamp... Any ideas? I was thinking a Cambridge 540P, but I don't know if it has the right outputs for the amps. + Maybe I need something with EQ to adjust the sub levels.

Users who are viewing this thread