Let's make this the ULTIMATE speaker buying resource thread
Hi everyone! I've been wanting to buy a home theatre system for AGES and now's the time. I've spent countless hours reading through various related websites and forums like this one. I can say that the people here are very well educated/experienced in this matter.
It can be quite frustrating to find a wealth of information when it comes to speakers. Myself, I like to buy the best you can get for a certain price. The idea behind this thread is to post as many links to websites that can point people in the right direction...what's the point of having dozens of threads when you can have it all in one?
I'll post a few of the sites I've found to be useful...to me, I prefer websites that have various categories of speakers and rate them according to value, sound quality, etc. I've seen countless posts about "what's the best speakers under $500"...if you know a website or magazine that publishes information on this then let's have it!
I'll let ya know what I'm thinking about for the moment...as well as some questions I'm sure a few people know.
For my receiver I've decided on the Yamaha RX-V2500...I liked the look, sound, and features of this receiver...it's at the upper limit of my price range.
Now for the harder part...I too am having a bit of trouble deciding on what speakers I want to get. I can only afford to get just a set of bookshelf speakers now (I'm staying away from floor-standing because of size, weight, etc.) the price limit I'm looking at is about $600CDN (or about $500US) I am willing to up that by about $100 or so but only if the speakers are REALLY good. I figure this is a decent price as a lot of speakers in this field have great sound quality.
**the most important feature is overall sound quality. I will be using the system (I'll be getting other speakers later as finances allow) for about 50% Music/Movies
**the next most important (as I'll initially only have 2 speakers) is bass response. Ideally, I want tight, deep bass..or the best you can get anyhow.
my ideas for speakers right now (this can change with your help) is...
Energy Connoisseur C3 bookshelf
PSB Image B25
Paradigm Monitor 5
if anyone has other/better suggestions I'd love to hear them. Feedback from people who own these speakers is also welcome.
This is to the benefit of everyone I hope. it would be great to have a few places needed to go for this kind of information.
I don't know anything about decent stereo equipment magazines so I'll just give you some websites I've come across. Thank you everyone for your time...hopefully this will be a fast-growing thread!
that's all I can remember for now. If i find more then I'll definately post the information.
Oh, one last question...I don't know wether to buy metal speaker stands or wood...of the the salespersons I talked to said to go for wood because it better reproduces the sonic soundstage..is this true? If so I could definately do well here because my best friend is an excellent carpenter/furniture maker...I'm guessing heavy, hard wood would be the best
Given the fact that everyone has different tastes in what they wish to hear and the fact that no speaker is perfect, one can safely say there is no "best" speaker. There is however best for you. The three speakers you listed are good starting points for things to audition. You obviously have the resources at your disposal to find out what is within your price range. Go out and audition. No one can tell you what you are going to like. Same with the receiver. Have you actually listened to it yet?
Just go to your local hi-fi shops. They can give you a lot of options in your price range and tailor your system to your tastes.
I have the Paradigm Monitor 5's and love them. They have massive "bang for the buck" factor. Great for music and movies. Links only have opinions which we all have plenty of. Stealth is right ya gotta go out and listen for yourself. If you have any specfic questions about the 5's Id be happy to answer when I get home from work.
I realize that everyone will have different tastes but getting as many professional reviews to read through helps narrow things down.
If you read through a dozen speaker review articles and you see a pattern of a few speakers consistently in the top then it helps you narrow things down. Going out and auditioning 50 different pairs of speakers isn't really practical that why I thought of this thread...it would help people narrow down their choices
I realize that everyone will have different tastes but getting as many professional reviews to read through helps narrow down your choices
If you read through a dozen speaker review articles and you see a pattern of a few speakers consistently in the top then it helps you concentrate on a smaller number of speakers. Going out and auditioning 50 different pairs of speakers isn't really practical that why I thought of this thread...it would help people narrow down their choices
The Paradigm Monitor 5 was an "Absolute Sound" recommended speaker for 2 years and the v4 sounds better than ever. They often don't return to review new versions of previously recommended budget speakers. You look at the review at the magazines website but it would costs 3.00. Most manufacturers have links to professional reviews on theri websites. Also a good place is audiowreview.com has great consumer reviews. If you look up Paradigm Monitor 5's on audioreview don't look up the Monitor 5 (v1) as it was a floorstanding speaker completely different than today's speaker. Look up the v2 which has some reviews for v3's. Any questions feel free to ask.
Professional reviews = An opinion from one or two people that are typically influenced to some extent by advertising money.
For example, Bose does occasionally get good professional reviews.
Yeah, "professional" reviewers sometimes need a hearing test. On one of your recomended sites, stereo speakers buying guide, they rated the Athena AS-B1 as the best under $200.00 speakers available. I quote "Strong, usable bass to 50hz." Huh? Check out the link below. If my eyes aren't decieving me, the AS-B1 is approx 15db down at 50hz, have gobs of low end noise (probably from the port) and have a weird impedence curve. Another quote" Excellent for pop, rock, classical or jazz music" Only thing these would be excellent for would be AM radio. Manufacturer claims the following: Freq resp 60Hz-20KHz, +/-3dB. Have a look at that graph and tell me who's kidding who here? The only place these are flat to plus or minus 3db is from approx 1200 hz to around 10khz. I know, they are under $200.00 but still.....these are HARDLY a value. I'd rather buy used. So much for "Stereo Speakers Buying Guide, huh? Here's the link: http://www.soundstagemagazine.com/measurements/athena_asb1/
Every review is the review of one or two people professional or not. I'm sure your making a point but god only knows what it is. Bose doesn't get good reviews from any reputable professional publications. I always let my ears make my audio decisions for me. I thought that these sites and threads were for folks to share information and discuss audio issues. Instead I find that specific posters like maui, edster, and Paul, to name just a few seem to prowl the threads looking to stir up crap. It's a shame because this could truly be an enjoyable site to visit. Like everyone else who posts on this site I have opinions but I don't believe that mine are any better than anyone elses. I find it difficult to understand what pleasure folks get out of trading malicious barbs. I read "Stereophile", "The Absolute Sound", and "The Perfect Vision". I have found a few professional reviewers who I trust. I'm sorry that some folks are such skeptics or have such large egos that they have not availed themselves of any of the wonderful resources that we have. If you read enough of the posts on this site it becomes apparent that a few rank (and I emphasize rank) amateurs are running roughshod over the rest of the good folks who just want to enjoy a good audio website. With that I will say goodnight.
I said that Bose has not received any good reviews in any reputable publication and I hold to that. And I do not trust all professional reviews or hold any of them above my own. Perhaps you should reread my post. Yes I do have reviewers that I trust but if you read the entire post perhaps you could glean that I too let my own ears be the final arbiter. Sound and Vision gives their magazine away at the audio stores here because they can't sell it.
Please read the reader letters in the April "Stereophile". There is a letter from the the "The Horn Shoppe" that you might find interesting. Please also read page 50 and the reference to audio sites like this one and you will understand how I feel.
Arthur- You nonetheless asked for my point, which I have now provided. If you disagree with it, feel free, although you dont seem to. As far as reputable magazines, how do you define them? Perhaps they dont take advertising money like Consumer Reports which still rates Bose highly? Or maybe you just find them reputable because they agree with your tastes? Please do tell.
Actually I don't subscribe to any magazines either. I pick them up at the store when I am interested. And yes I have looked at various publications looking for reviewers who seem to reflect my taste. It seems a good way to measure their reviews compatibility to my tastes. However I do not measure an audio publications credibility based on my own taste. "Sound and Vision" is a fine gadget rag and "Consumer Report" is not an audio publication at all. I was referring to reputable or better yet credible audio publications. I thought that obvious by the context of our conversation. "The Absolute Sound" and "Stereophile" continue to be the publications by which all others are measured. Don't believe me, ask the manufacturers including the ones who have not received good reviews. Again, pick up the April edition of Stereophile and read Page 13 under "Reviews and Knuckleheads" by Ed Schilling of "The Horn Shoppe". He makes quite clear Stereophiles' policy regarding reviews vs advertising revenue.
Still, regardless of whether they are credible or not, what does it matter? Your opinion in the end is the only one that matters. You can glean a few brands to try out, but you can do that with a non-credible mag. Anything more than that, like only going with the top five choices of a given magazine can be an injustice to yourself. Who knows, you might be a Klipsch lover, and never even give them a shot because they dont get rave reviews all the time from everyone.
I guess I could go on forever but in the end you just ain't gonna get it. Let's see if I can say what I've already said in a way that you understand. I do not rely on any publication when choosing audio gear. I simply use them as one of many resources at my disposal. I do not rely on anyone's reviews. Again, they are just resources to use if you choose. Yes, I do believe S&V out sells TAS and Stereophile, as Bose out sells Magnepan, Wilson, Spendor, ProAc and on and on. Quality rarely out sells trash. S&V also counts the magazines that they send to audio stores and do not get paid for as part of their paid circulation. Jim Ott the Proprietor of Northwest Audio Labs in Corvallis, Or and a friend of mine for the last 20 years tells me that he has called S&V and asked them to quit sending it to him and yet it just keeps on coming. Jeff and Tim proprietors of Bradford's Home Entertainment in Eugene, Or..same story. Oh and lastly I do not dismiss any resource even if I consider it to be somewhat dubious. I pick up a free copy of S&V. Makes for entertaining bathroom reading.
Stealth C. You may as well give up on this. It's a hopeless cause. Believe me, I know. Some folks are just not amenable to certain forms of advice. Just let them go on and spend their money any way they like.
> I thought that these sites and threads were for folks to share information and discuss audio issues. Instead I find that specific posters like maui, edster, and Paul, to name just a few seem to prowl the threads looking to stir up crap.
This is hilarious, considering that in this thread YOU are the person who seems to be unable to tolerate any dissenting views without getting all puffy and initiating stupidly obnoxious comments like " I'm sure your making a point but god only knows what it is" and "I guess I could go on forever but in the end you just ain't gonna get it."
From what I've seen of your posts, you consistently exhibit very THIN SKIN and are extremely quick to get your pants in a wad and take offense where none was ever meant.
To put it another way, if you cannot stand to be around strong opinions that you may not agree with, why even show up to *any* online forum? Do you seriously expect the rest of creation to tiptoe around you so as not to ruffle your precious feathers?
In that case, just stay home and lock all your doors and close all your windows and curl up in front of the TV with your remote in hand so you can change channels at the drop of a hat anytime you see or hear anything that (God forbid!) has the insufferable gall to displease you.
I beg to differ with anyone who suggests that edster and Paul have made no substantive contributions to the forum. Although I might frequently find myself in disagreement with either or both of them, they usually have something worth while to say. Like myself, from time to time, they are probably goaded into forays that digress from the topic at hand. Usually, that is because we have been personally attacked by individuals who disagree with or fail to understand our positions. Self defense is a God given right in my book.
To Dale the discussion between Stealth and I was not about advice as he didn't give me any nor did I give him any. It was about a misunderstanding relative to what I have written. He and I are saying similar things but he does not seem to understand that. Had you read the posts with understanding you would have seen that. Also as usual on this this someone is putting words in my mouth that I did not write. If you look carefully at this site you will see who is usually doing the goading. And as for edster's usual insulting and vulgar post I won't respond as there is no value in it. The point of one of my earlier post is that this site is about audio but I think it's too bad that some folks won't just let us discuss it sans the child like tantrums.
Maybe I didn't read the posts with the "understanding" you intended. Perhaps that is a result of the imprecise language you used. In any event, I don't want to debate with you on whether you find edster's posts useful. Makes about as much sense as me trying to convince you to buy Acme speakers because I think they sound great. You get what you get. I do agree it is unfortunate that some of the submissions deteriorate into name calling and other worthless banter. But there is no practical way to separate the wheat from the chaff. One simply has to choose to ignore insults or to respond to them. I elect the latter. In this case, perhaps I would not have responded to you at all, except for the fact you attempted to insult me. Don't complain about others if you do the same stuff yourself.
Arthur- I responded simply because you thought I had not made a point. I reiterated my position, which you agreed with initially and I acknowledge that. Then we started talking about magazines...
Overall I wouldnt say the conversation got particularly malicious either way. I surely didnt cry myself to sleep and I doubt you did as well.
Back to the point at hand though. As I stated in my original post, the idea of a "ultimate speaker thread" is not particularly well thought out. It is already the goal of every hi-fi magazine to be the ultimate speaker guide, and as a result each one has a large number of good reviews on various speakers. Making this thread would be superfluous in that regard and in turn would require that we have sufficient judgement to say what is a good review and what is not. While a professional editor with all the facts behind the scenes might be able to make that call, a few hi-fi fanatics probably cant. And of course as everyone can agree, you have to listen before you buy. There are so many good speakers out there you would just be short changing yourself to listen to the "best" five or ten speakers as defined by some total stranger. If you've read Stereophile for twenty years and have a writer you trust, that is one thing. There is however a major difference when one reads it for the first time as a result of being directed to it from this thread and being expected to trust it as gospel.
You would also probably agree that if one took the time to read through any of the magazines/websites mentioned above like Stereophile or Audioholics, one would have a pretty good understanding of how to go out and buy a speaker.
Yes Stealth I do agree with every point that you have made in these last 2 posts. I did not take your responses as malicious at all and I would hope that you did not take mine that way. You said it well. I don't believe we can discuss an "ultimate speaker" without understanding the role subjectivity plays. And I apologize to the others who may think that I am thin skinned. I am a social worker with the welfare system here in Oregon I take more insults by 8:00 am everyday than most folks do in a year. I come to these forums hoping to discuss audio and not argue about it. Again, I apologize. Stealth your last 2 posts were great I pretty much agree with every word. Have a nice evening folks.
Regardless......Any thoughts on BIC America Venturi DV62si speakers w/modified crossfaders by Ed from EFE Speakers as my mains coupled with an Onix Rocket UFW-10 subwoofer powered by a Yamaha RX-V650 receiver, or same subwoofer with Sony SS-MF 750 H for my mains w/the BIC's as my surrounds. Thanks
I have no idea what the current BIC speakers sound like. But I can tell what my 1973 BIC Venturi Formula 2 speakers sounded like with a Marantz 2220B reviever. No actually I've not listened to the current crop of BIC speakers but the buzz is pretty good.
BIC is supposed to be a decent value but I cant claim to have heard them either. Your sub seems to be a bit out of balance with the rest of your system though, if you really want my opinion. HSU sells some more resonably priced models that would probably be worth looking into.
Arthur Kyle.....I take offense to your comment that i'm here to "stir up crap" Do me a favor please? Post ONE SINGLE QUOTE from me that YOU can document as false. Just ONE. I state facts, Arthur. If you want fiction, go to the Bose website. Should provide you a lifetime of pleasure. Sometimes the truth hurts. Sorry. Again, i'm not going to sugar coat my posts. I'm here to dispell some of the many many myths, false statements and down right LIES that are circulated in this forum, and to open some eyes and ears to better, lesser known equipment. Is there a law against that, Arthur? For example, I have pointed out to this forum how wonderfull the GMA Europa speakers are. They happen to sell for an AFFORDABLE price. At $1K/pair, I challenge you or anyone to find me a better speaker from ANY MANUFACTURER. Good luck. Hell, for the sake of making this anything but an impossible challenge for you Arthur, lets go to $2K. Also, I point out that the ONIX XCD-88 CDP is one and the same as the MUCH more costly Music Hall CD-25. Find me a better CDP for $299.00, Arthur. Why is that "a shame" as you put it? Do you see something in the soundstage tests that disputes my post? ANYTHING? The graphs are there.......for you.....me........everyone. I merely point out the reviewer from "Stereo speaker buyers guide" is wrong...spousing purple prowse on a very marginal speaker and MISS-LEADING perspective buyers... but somehow I'M made out to be the bad guy. C'mon Arthur.......who's kidding whom?
If you have or are aspiring to a multi channel system there is a pair of GMA Europa's for sale on Audio gon for a ;ittle over 700.00 with stands or a little under 700.00 without. I'm not sure if you had a proper demonstration of the X2's but if you had I'm sure you have agreed that they were impressive.
The Wilson's I heard were driven by a couple of mono block's that cost more than many homes. They were at Overture Audio in Ann Arbor Michigan. They were there on consignment. The salesmen there had pretty much the same opinion of them as I did. I'm not saying they were bad. They were not bad at all. The bass was very impressive. There was just something about the midrange that bothered me. Probably phase related. Also, the room could have been too small for them. It was not a lengthy audition. Fine speakers, just not my cup of tea.
What do you guys think about MyTmouse's original idea? I'm all for it...just not on this particular thread. This one has gotten way to juvenile for all of us.
I don't think it would be superfluous because I don't subscribe to any of the mags either. And if I go to Bose's website I'm sure I'm only going to find good reviews...what company is stupid enough to post a bad review of their product on their website? Since I'm kind of new to this site, I have to ask...are there any bad professional reviews out there?
MyT...let's try it again on a new thread. I think it could be a resource we could all use. Mauimusicman...your source for all the tech info such as graphs, etc. would be real useful to me. I'd appreciate your help in this venture.
Well Gas, I tried. I thought it a good idea to have people post links to informative sites but it was crapped all over in a hurry.
I have no personal affiliations with any sites/magazines...nor do I have a bias towards any. It was just an idea to have as much resources as people knew of posted in one place for easier reference.