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Thread: Budget Tower Speakers Anyone?

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    Casual HD User LightningMike's Avatar
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    Default Budget Tower Speakers Anyone?

    werthliving.com

    I just joined this forum and it seems to have once been a pretty active one, but I looked at the Speaker section and nobody's even posted a comment or new thread since last year LOL. Either the Usual Suspects have speakers they love or everyone is terrified to post because speakers are so subjective. So, I'll throw some kindling on the fire and see what happens. I'm thinking about a new front setup, two towers and a CC. Not even interested in bookshelves so please don't suggest them for me. I do have some size issues, the CC can't be more than 19.75" wide (cabinet opening), and I'd probably be happy with towers that were around 8" wide so I could orient them towards normal seating setup. Height or depth not a big issue, finish could be black ash or whatever they call it. Budget for the two towers & CC would be around $500-$600 and yeah... I know thats not audiophile territory but I just dismantled a Bose Acoustimass setup so almost anything will be an improvement.

    Technically... I'd like something 8 Ohm, 2-way or possibly 3-way, like to know that there's a compatible (Timbre-wise) CC that fits my width problem. Like to have something reasonably efficient, my current AVR is a Yamaha HTR-5063 but that might get replaced as I'm liking some of the new features. Probably 75% of the time this setup would be running as part of the home theater package.

    I happened to be checking CL for used towers, found a guy selling a pair of Polks 90E's supposedly in good shape and started doing some research. NewEgg is running a special on Polk Audio Monitor60 Series II (same speakers as aforementioned used ones) For $129.99 and $1.99 shipping (each). Polk's specs say 38Hz-25kHz, 8 Ohms 20-200W, and 90dB, with a one (1) 1" cloth dome Tweeter and three (3) 5.25" Bi-Laminate drivers, also 20-200W, 8 Ohm, and 38Hz-25kHz, with crossover 2.3kHz. NewEgg has 294 customer reviews with 246 Five-Egg ratings, 35 Four-Eggs which accounts for 96% very positive. And they have a CC that seems to be the match... a CS1 with a one (1) 1" cloth dome Tweeter and two (2) 5.25" Bi-Laminate drivers, also 20-200W, 8 Ohm, and 55Hz-25kHz again with a crossover 2.3kHz. Both towers and CC have Dual (Bi-Amp) 5-way binding posts. They give you a 5 year warranty, 30 day return. I'm sure these speakers aren't incredible, but this is a pretty good deal price wise, dropped at my door LOL.

    I've heard other lower echelon Polks at BB and they weren't totally offensive. There's no place in western Mass where I can hear "budget" speakers other than a place like BB, or possibly go trudging around New England to listen to used ones. That costs money in itself plus you never know what/whom you're dealing with. I also heard some Sony's and some Pioneer towers at BB along with Klipsch... the only ones _I_ liked were the Polks and the Klipsch Reference. No deals on the Klipsch close to this price, but they do have the Klipsch Reference RF42 II's for $199.99 each. At this point you get into the Fluance XL7F range... again, haven't heard those but wonderful reviews.

    If money was no object, this would be easy. I can probably get by with some towers (either new or gently used) and keep my current CC, an older but adequate Infinity Sterling, but the Polk deal has me thinking I could spend _under_ $500 and put some dough towards a powered sub or a new AVR which is probably last on my list. OK, start throwing rocks.

    Mike

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    FATHER TIMELESS ImRizzo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Budget Tower Speakers Anyone?

    to create a seamless front soundfield you should match your frt speakers like all polk or klipsch or whatever
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    Super Moderator GOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Budget Tower Speakers Anyone?

    Fluance speakers are good bang for your buck and have good sound. As Rizz says....if you're looking to by on a budget....just try to get matching speakers...you certainly won't regret it. Polks can sound nice..used to have a Polk system and I was pleased....
    Denon AVR-X4000 * Harmony ONE
    Klipsch RF-82 II front * RC3 center * RP3 surrounds * KEF HTS1001 rear
    Rythmik Audio DS1501 CI sub
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    Default Re: Budget Tower Speakers Anyone?

    Yeah I hear you guys... and I swear I will somehow do all three front speakers the right way even if they aren't a grand apiece! Almost anything can be rear/surround and most powered subs will help. The funny thing is that the new polks I mentioned are not that much more than some used Polks. I think it's gonna be either Polk or Klipsch. No Magnolia BB hear in the Western part of the state, so I can only judge what I can hear.

    So aside from my search, how are you liking the new Denon GOS? My next AVR has to be network ready, and at least have AirPlay. I was looking at the x3000 but your x4000 must be nice.

    Mike

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    Default Re: Budget Tower Speakers Anyone?

    Klipsch tiers lower than reference are good, buddy has them. Fluance and PSB are good stuff too. My start was with Polk Monitor, good stuff.

    Im a huge proponent of towers, and definitely match them with the proper center channel from the same line.

    You will find once you get good speakers, you have to spend a ton of $$$ to get great speakers. Subwoofer performance adds a lot more at times than speakers.

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    HDJ Platinum Club Member sawzalot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Budget Tower Speakers Anyone?

    If one is really on a budget and looking for the best bang for the buck I suggest these here speakers made by Pioneer , tweaked by Dennis Murphy ,Called the Affordable Accuracy Speakers, from what I have heard about the sound they compare to 1500 dollar speaker set ups for one third that cost
    http://philharmonicaudio.com/aa.html
    HD Football Rocks

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    Default Re: Budget Tower Speakers Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by sawzalot View Post
    If one is really on a budget and looking for the best bang for the buck I suggest these here speakers made by Pioneer , tweaked by Dennis Murphy ,Called the Affordable Accuracy Speakers, from what I have heard about the sound they compare to 1500 dollar speaker set ups for one third that cost
    http://philharmonicaudio.com/aa.html
    I've heard that Dennis works some magic on those speakers, because I've heard the Pioneers "un-massaged" and to me... they sounded pitiful and weak compared to the Klipsch F30's next to them at Best Buy. But like everything else, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and in this case... the ears LOL. I think Dennis has a website with tons of suggestions for fixes on various speakers. I also recall somebody else doing a quality crossover mod on a set of Sony towers where he said the difference was night and day.

    I was in the middle of negotiating for a semi-local used Klipsch setup that included F2 towers, a matching CC, rear surrounds, and a powered sub when I finally got pix of the sub and realized it was down-firing and with WyW carpeting... I put that on hold. But the guy understood my dilemma and said he'd consider breaking it apart. Reason I considered that temp setup was that I figured I might consider a DIY project... Dennis' infamous ER18's, down the road. I was also wondering if I could re-use my current Infinity CC enclosure (which fits my TV stand CC opening perfectly) with some speakers and a crossover that would compliment the ER18's (his ER15?) if I went that route. I'd have to write Dennis and get his opinion.

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    You can see the cabinet opening behind the picture. Little did I know when I built that TV stand, that I might someday want to use a 24" wide CC LOL. Wifey won't give me any bookshelf space, and honestly... bookshelf speakers would look odd if aimed diagonally at our seating area. So I can spread the bookshelves a little further out and squeeze in a 7" to 9" tower with a little wiggle room for aiming.

    Mike

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    Default Re: Budget Tower Speakers Anyone?

    I think Dennis could surely give you the advice needed to make an informed decision on the center speaker , heck if nothing else I bet swapping the tweeter to match those in the diy and a simple crossover upgrade would integrate them perfectly, good luck in your search for happy listening.
    HD Football Rocks

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    FATHER TIMELESS ImRizzo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Budget Tower Speakers Anyone?

    Check into a pair of these I'm quite satisfied with mine (very small footprint)



    http://www.miragespeakers.com/floors...rs/?sku=OS3-FS
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    Default Re: Budget Tower Speakers Anyone?

    Thanks Rizzo... Thats a _LOT_ of drivers WOW. The guy with the Klipsch bundle is out of the country for 2 weeks so we left it hanging, but we'll see next week if that might be my stop-gap until I decide on the Polks, something better or maybe the DIYs. I'm going to dig further on ER18's and see whats involved. Construction shouldn't be too bad, I've never done veneering but I have done formica LOL. I keep wondering about those converted Pioneers that Philharmonic (Dennis) sells... can just modding the crossover, swapping the tweeter for a better one and doing a better job on the sound material make _that_ much of a difference? So many people swear by his work... very reasonable experiment.

    Mike

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    FATHER TIMELESS ImRizzo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Budget Tower Speakers Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by LightningMike View Post
    Thanks Rizzo... Thats a _LOT_ of drivers WOW. The guy with the Klipsch bundle is out of the country for 2 weeks so we left it hanging, but we'll see next week if that might be my stop-gap until I decide on the Polks, something better or maybe the DIYs. I'm going to dig further on ER18's and see whats involved. Construction shouldn't be too bad, I've never done veneering but I have done formica LOL. I keep wondering about those converted Pioneers that Philharmonic (Dennis) sells... can just modding the crossover, swapping the tweeter for a better one and doing a better job on the sound material make _that_ much of a difference? So many people swear by his work... very reasonable experiment.

    Mike
    here's a set w/10" S10 sub
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mirage-Omni-...item4ae5a866f5
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    Default Re: Budget Tower Speakers Anyone?

    I almost (but I didn't) pull the trigger on the Fluance XL7fs but I got a little concerned about two things; first, they are loosey-goosey on the Ohms... saying they work 4-8 Ohms which means to get real performance you need to wire them bi-amp style. Don't know whether that's really efficient or not. The other thing was that while the reviews were _good_ they weren't that you need to buy these now because they're a loss leader or something like that. They'd also be more than double the price of the Polks I've been looking at.

    There's a "local" guy with a pair of Paradigm towers who has a fair asking price ($140 bucks) although I haven't seen them. Its a 3-hour round trip to check them out. They are older but he doesn't know for sure so I'm guessing 10-15 years? The model is the Paradigm Monitor 7 V.1 and they have had decent reviews. Finding a matching Paradigm CC that fits my TV stand is probably like looking for a needle in a haystack. And a lot of people are expecting higher prices ($275-$475) for stuff thats vintage '90's to around 15 years old.

    So I keep going back to the Polk Monitor60 Series II's that probably are either overstocked or a loss-leader. And hundreds of buyers seem to love them enough to write glowing reviews on Amazon, Crutchfield, and NewEgg. Makes me think that if I really don't like them... I could send them back.

    Mike

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    Recreational Alcohol User Ntruder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Budget Tower Speakers Anyone?

    A friend of mine has a set of Fluance speakers, and its ridiculous how good they sound considering how cheap they are. Unless you plan to build the speakers yourself, Fluance is the best bang for buck hands down.
    Panasonic 65" VT60

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    Default Re: Budget Tower Speakers Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ntruder View Post
    A friend of mine has a set of Fluance speakers, and its ridiculous how good they sound considering how cheap they are. Unless you plan to build the speakers yourself, Fluance is the best bang for buck hands down.
    Likewise, a friend of my son's has a Polk 5.1 setup with a Denon AVR and I was impressed with the sound. Also hear Polk, Klipsch, Sony, and Pioneer at BestBuy. I went with the Polks for the front three speakers, Klipsch surrounds , and the Velodyne Sub I'm tracking lol. Watched Black Hawk Down tonight... ducking bullets. This setup is pure budget, but it's a million times better than the Bose setup I had before.

    It's so tough to pick a speaker from hearsay, but I'm sure the Fluances are really nice, but everything is relative.

    Mike
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    Default Re: Budget Tower Speakers Anyone?

    Anything is better than Bose, everyone thinks that the members here just put down Bose because they're audio elitist, actually it because of the real poor quality of the little box Bose speakers. When in reality it is only when Bose owners hear their speakers against other systems that they realize the difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by LightningMike View Post
    Likewise, a friend of my son's has a Polk 5.1 setup with a Denon AVR and I was impressed with the sound. Also hear Polk, Klipsch, Sony, and Pioneer at BestBuy. I went with the Polks for the front three speakers, Klipsch surrounds , and the Velodyne Sub I'm tracking lol. Watched Black Hawk Down tonight... ducking bullets. This setup is pure budget, but it's a million times better than the Bose setup I had before.

    It's so tough to pick a speaker from hearsay, but I'm sure the Fluances are really nice, but everything is relative.

    Mike
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    Default Re: Budget Tower Speakers Anyone?


    Quote Originally Posted by LightningMike View Post
    Likewise, a friend of my son's has a Polk 5.1 setup with a Denon AVR and I was impressed with the sound. Also hear Polk, Klipsch, Sony, and Pioneer at BestBuy. I went with the Polks for the front three speakers, Klipsch surrounds , and the Velodyne Sub I'm tracking lol. Watched Black Hawk Down tonight... ducking bullets. This setup is pure budget, but it's a million times better than the Bose setup I had before.

    It's so tough to pick a speaker from hearsay, but I'm sure the Fluances are really nice, but everything is relative.

    Mike
    I wanna say the Fluance speakers my friend has were like $400 for a 5 speaker surround system; 2 towers, 2 rears, and a center. Edit; yeah it is the SXHTB system without the subwoofer. They sound way better than $400. Kind of on par with the entry level Polk or Klipsch towers that are at least $199 each.
    Panasonic 65" VT60

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