Cheap Speakers That Sound Good...with the right amp!


Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2247
Registered: Oct-10
A couple of months ago, I bought a pair of speakers at a thrift shop for $10. I bought them specifically to put on the patio for background music. So, it was okay that they had originally come with a compact system. This was obvious since they were made by Zenith and instead of speaker terminals, the speaker wires are hard wired into the backs of the cabinets. They are 2 way shelf units with single capacitor crossovers. Upon getting them home, I connected them to the B outputs of my Denon receiver. They sounded okay, but not really pleasing. I knew that the problem wasn't with the receiver as it sounds great with the omnisats I use it with. I also knew from experimenting with amp/speaker combos that the speakers weren't hopeless. I put them in the living room on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve to give us some music for the occasions. After that, they were place on the patio well shielded from the elements. I connected them directly to my iPod and they sounded pretty good. The volume was decent as the speakers are very sensitive (no sensitivity spec given), but they needed a little something more. I was going to buy a pair of mono, 2 watt RMS (first spec given was 7 watts music power) amp kits that I saw online and make a pair of 1 amp power supplies. According to the description, they only need a half amp each. The store doesn't carry the kits and I didn't feel like going to a lot of trouble. So, I went to the same thrift shop from which I bought the speakers and found a Onkyo TX-840 receiver in mint condition for $40. I put the receiver in the storage closet off the patio and connected the speakers and iPod. I couldn't believe how good this system sounded! It's not as good as my main system, but it's much better than I expected. I spent the entire evening sitting outside listening to mostly relaxing music. My son joined me for a listen to "Dark Side of te Moon". You just never know what kind of sound quality you'll get with the right combo!

Silver Member
Username: Edison

Glendale, CA US

Post Number: 962
Registered: Dec-03
Definitely! I am listening to a system I put together for $200 used now, and I am enjoying it very much. It's Denon mini system (hi end), and entry level Tannoy mercury speakers...

I don't mean to brag, but I was dumb enough to spend so much on hifi, only to enjoy such well put together system - I can knock my self out for having spent foolishly on audio, in search of sonic heaven...I should have researched and read books on it like people here are doing, before buying...alas

Gold Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 2262
Registered: Oct-10
Don't beat yourself up over it James. Consider it a learning experience. Feel free to join Audio Karma.
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