Budget stereo speakers

Discussion in 'What Speakers Should I Buy?' started by B Tank, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. B Tank

    B Tank
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    Hello everyone

    I'm new to the home cinema separates area and I have just started a budget system with the Denon AVR 1312.

    My bedroom is pretty small and not ideally positioned for a 5.1 system so I am just starting off with a simple stereo system.

    I need speakers with a budget of £150, they need to be be bassy because at the moment I am not planning to have a subwoofer installed.

    In the future my next step will be a subwoofer, or floor standing speakers but I'm not sure yet, maybe someone can advise on a small room setup. The stereo ones I'm after should do a decent job until then!

    I have my eyes on the Mission MX1 at the moment, I love the look of MS Aviano 1 but I hear they aren't good on bass.

    I will be doing everything with this system, mainly video games though and I love having the sound loud.
     
  2. Rich Marshall

    Rich Marshall
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    Would you consider second hand?
    If so you could pick up some decent floor standers now for around £150.
     
  3. MaturityDodger

    MaturityDodger
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    Wharfedale Diamond 9.1 for (£90 in superfi)? Then you have £60 left over to kick-start saving towards your sub!

    Or you can get the updated Diamond 10.1 for the £150 you quoted as your budget.

    The 9.1s are also available bundled with a sub for £230.
     
  4. B Tank

    B Tank
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    I usually consider second hand stuff but I don't want second hand speakers because I have had a bad experience with a second hand sub I bought once.

    Yeah I have seen these Wharfedale Diamonds getting very good reviews, I think I will seriously consider the 10.1's, although the 9.1 are a bit too cheap I'd like to spend more close to budget.

    I'm really not in a hurry for a sub yet as I just don't have the space at the moment.

    Can anybody give a comparison or recommendation between the wharfedales and missions?
     
  5. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    As previously mentioned, while this is over your budget, it is an excellent deal -

    Superfi - WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 9.1 SPEAKERS & SW150 SUBWOOFER 2.1 SPEAKER PACKAGE

    A pair of Diamond 9.1 plus the SW150 subwoofer for £230/set.

    Then in the future, you can move the Diamond 9.1 to the rear and put any of the Diamond 10 series in the front. The Diamond 10.1 are about £150/pr, the larger bookshelf Diamond 10.2 are about £200/pr, and the modest floorstanding Diamond 10.4 are about £320/pr. The most common of three Diamond Center Speakers, the Diamond 10.CS is a fair £120/each.

    So, you have a wide range of future options available when you start upgrading the system. In the mean time, the Diamond 9.1/SW150 will do a pretty good job.

    Still, the Diamond 10.1 on their own (~£150/pr) or the exceptional deal on the Diamond 9.1 for only £90/pr (SuperFi only, while supply last) would be a good place to start, and would fit your stated budget nicely.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  6. B Tank

    B Tank
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    Good points.

    What is the effect of using different brand speakers for front and rear?

    Also, what is the main difference between bookshelves and floorstanders?
     
  7. MaturityDodger

    MaturityDodger
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    For front and surround, it's not too much of an issue. Front and centre are more important though.
    If you get speakers from the same range, they'll have the same tonal characteristics, and so create a more uniform soundfield. This is important for the front soundstage (fronts and centre) as that's all the important bits - the speech and the main soundtrack. The surrounds aren't as important to be the same, as they're used more for ambient effects and are a bit separate anyway.

    In the same range, you'll often find that the manufacturer makes a floorstander that has the exact same electronics as their larger bookshelf speaker (maybe with slightly tweaked values on the crossover). The only difference being that it's in a larger cabinet. They might then make another floorstander that has an extra woofer, or even a larger woofer too.

    The first floorstander (the one with the only difference being the cabinet) will still sound different to the bookshelf. The extra volume of air in the cabinet will give the speaker a lower bass rolloff.
    (at the budget end of the market, these speakers can actually be worse than their bookshelf counterparts. In budget speakers, most of the money and effort goes into making a vibration/resonance-free cabinet. It's harder to make a larger cabinet stiff than a small one. They often do a good job though, and the Wharfedale floorstanders are quite a bit more expensive than bookshelves).
    The second floorstander (with the extra or larger driver) will have plenty of strongly-reinforced low-end.

    Note that having floorstanders doesn't mean you don't need a sub - very few floorstanders go as low as 20Hz (or even 30, which is more realistic of a modest sub)


    So what does all this mean for you?
    If you plan to use your system just for films/TV/games in 5.1 mode, then you'll most likely have a crossover set on your AVR at 80Hz. So any difference in the speakers below this point won't be heard. So you're better off saving your money and getting bookshelf speakers. (as long as they're not tiny ones which aren't capable of reproducing 80Hz)
    If, however, you like good quality for music too, then you might end up wanting to listen in stereo mode (this is the unprocessed, purest way of getting sound from source to speaker, and with good equipment will sound best).
    For stereo music, floorstanders can be much better for you.
     
  8. B Tank

    B Tank
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    Cool :smashin:

    To me it sounds like bookshelves and a sub is the way to go then, even though I use my systems for every media you mentioned above I reckon games will take priority and I struggle to realise if I will make use of the benefits I will get from floorstanders.

    I'm leaning more and more towards the 2.1 wharfedale system, but that's a lot over budget at the moment.

    I'm thinking whether I should stick to some decent £150 bookshelf speakers for now which will keep me going until I can afford a sub separately.

    The priority needs to be bass with my new bookshelves, what stats am I looking for here?
     
  9. MaturityDodger

    MaturityDodger
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    I agree - it sounds like bookshelves are best for you.
    But one thing with bookshelves that could add to the cost is that you need to put them on something suitably solid. Ideally proper speaker stands, unless you have a decent TV cabinet for them to go on. That's a problem you don't get with floorstanders.
    If you can stretch the extra £80 to the Wharfedale set, I think this will save you money in the long run. You'll be paying a lot more than that to get a similar-quality sub at a later date.
    Honestly... the stat you're looking for is the inclusion of a sub ;)
    If bass is a priority (you hadn't mentioned that until now) then getting a pair of bookshelves on their own is the worst choice really.
    I think that your your needs, then 2.1 is the minimum that will satisfy you. Getting this should keep you happy for long enough to save up for a decent front 3, and move the original pair to the surrounds.
     
  10. B Tank

    B Tank
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    Points taken.

    My next issue is positioning, my rooms terribly suited to a home cinema setup imo so I need advice on what to do, I'm especially stumped on where to keep the bookshelf speakers I'll buy. I guess that wharfedale sub will be huge as well so who knows where that will go.

    I'll make a separate thread on this query with pics of my room and such, asking for advice.
     

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