need help with speaker choice

annieee3

Standard Member
Hi,

I'm a complete beginner in this field, so would appreciate any help you might be able to give me.

I'm looking to get a surround sound setup for my flatscreen and ps3. I want to use it mainly for films and the occassional bit of music. Overall, I'm hoping for a good quality set up on a budget that can cope with both well.

I was given two old aesprit AE300's by my dad and was looking to integrate them into a 5.1 setup. However, looking into this I've learnt the old models are hard to find/expensive and have read you can't mix and match different speaker series. Is this correct? Are there any speakers that would be compatible with my existing ones even if i were to have a 2.1 setup with a nicer quality (as i'm on a tight budget).

Alternatively I wondered whether I sould get a new cheaper (£100-£200 mark) 5.1 set up and forget about my existing AE's. I've been looking at the Onkyo TX-SR576 av reciever as it's got good reviews for the price. are there any speakers in my budget that would match this av well?


If you have any advice or suggestions of speaker systems that would suit me, or which option i should go with, all help will be great!

Thanks :)
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
You could have a 2.1 system with your current speakers since there is no need to match a sub to the other speakers. With speakers it is more important to having a tonally matching front 3 speakers. You may be able to find a centre from another make may match OK but you would need to demo to determine this. So it is possible to mix and match it is just a little more difficult.
The 576 is quite an old reciever now (around 2 years old), not sure what price you have seen it for but a quick look I have had seems to have it at around £180 which seems expensive. Especially considering the reciever above, 607, can be bought for £150 from Richer Sounds.
As for speakers the Tannoy SFX would be a good match for an Onkyo reciever and probably one of the cheapest sets around of any quality. However, they are a sub/satelite system (as will all the other speaker set below £200) so will not be the best for music. If you want a more musical speaker then you should look at the Q Accoustics 1010i set or Wharfedale Moviestar 65.
 

soupdragon

Distinguished Member

annieee3

Standard Member
thanks for the suggestions. :thumbsup: I Ended up deciding on the tx-sr308, which was a bit more but hey. I've had a look at the tannoy SFX5.1 which looks good for the price. I'm just unsure if I want a more quality set up I can add to overtime. I read that wharfedales go well with onkyo recievers so I've been looking at some wharfedale speaker packages that are over budget but i might just stretch to it:

If i got this one-
WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 9.1 SPEAKERS & SW150 SUBWOOFER 2.1 SPEAKER PACKAGE - £229
could i use my aesprit's as back l/r surrounds or is that a different kettle of fish altogether? also, do you know if there's much difference between the 9.1 and the 10.1 wharfedales?

alternatively i could just wait till my birthday and get the whole 10 hcp-
WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 10 HCP HOME CINEMA SPEAKER SYSTEM WITH SW150 SUBWOOFER
I don't want to spend money on seperates when it seems much cheaper to buy it as a job lot. which do you think is the better option?

sorry for all the questions. I really can't decide which is the best route to go down and am reluctant to spend money if it's not quality I can use for years to come. I don't really want to be upgrading my set up any time soon.

thanks again! :)
 

soupdragon

Distinguished Member
thanks for the suggestions. :thumbsup: I Ended up deciding on the tx-sr308, which was a bit more but hey. I've had a look at the tannoy SFX5.1 which looks good for the price. I'm just unsure if I want a more quality set up I can add to overtime. I read that wharfedales go well with onkyo recievers so I've been looking at some wharfedale speaker packages that are over budget but i might just stretch to it:

If i got this one-
WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 9.1 SPEAKERS & SW150 SUBWOOFER 2.1 SPEAKER PACKAGE - £229
could i use my aesprit's as back l/r surrounds or is that a different kettle of fish altogether? also, do you know if there's much difference between the 9.1 and the 10.1 wharfedales?

alternatively i could just wait till my birthday and get the whole 10 hcp-
WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 10 HCP HOME CINEMA SPEAKER SYSTEM WITH SW150 SUBWOOFER
I don't want to spend money on seperates when it seems much cheaper to buy it as a job lot. which do you think is the better option?

sorry for all the questions. I really can't decide which is the best route to go down and am reluctant to spend money if it's not quality I can use for years to come. I don't really want to be upgrading my set up any time soon.

thanks again! :)
Both very good choices there - I would go with the full 5.1 10 HCP in case you can't get the 9.1's at a later date and your left with an unmatched center speaker. The 9.1's are bigger speakers than the 10 HCP bundle (which is the 10.0's, not the 10.1's) which may make them more suitable for stereo music listening....that said, the 10's will still do a good job in this regard and you will always have the subwoofer coming in to support.
 

annieee3

Standard Member
great. thanks for the advice! Now i just have to decide whether I can get it now or if i have to wait for it!

I know i need an hdmi to connect up the reciever the tv... but what cables do i need to link up the whole 5.1 system - and could you give me an idea of what i'll have to spend on these?
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
You will need speaker cable (no need to spend more than about £1 per metre and ebay sells reels for less than this, just look for 2.5mm oxygen free copper). You will then need a sub cable which is a shielded phono cable and should be no need to spend more than about £10 on one of these. Should not need any other cables other than that since the ones for each source that now go to the TV can then go to the reciever. The only other thing you may need is if you have any analogue video sources i.e. Wii then you will need an analogue cable i.e. component from the reciever to the TV. This is because the 308 does not have upconversion so can not convert an analogue signal to digital to then be able to output it via the HDMI.
 

Passingbat

Well-known Member
thanks for the suggestions. :thumbsup: I Ended up deciding on the tx-sr308, which was a bit more but hey. I've had a look at the tannoy SFX5.1 which looks good for the price. I'm just unsure if I want a more quality set up I can add to overtime. I read that wharfedales go well with onkyo recievers so I've been looking at some wharfedale speaker packages that are over budget but i might just stretch to it:

If i got this one-
WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 9.1 SPEAKERS & SW150 SUBWOOFER 2.1 SPEAKER PACKAGE - £229
could i use my aesprit's as back l/r surrounds or is that a different kettle of fish altogether? also, do you know if there's much difference between the 9.1 and the 10.1 wharfedales?

alternatively i could just wait till my birthday and get the whole 10 hcp-
WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 10 HCP HOME CINEMA SPEAKER SYSTEM WITH SW150 SUBWOOFER
I don't want to spend money on seperates when it seems much cheaper to buy it as a job lot. which do you think is the better option?

sorry for all the questions. I really can't decide which is the best route to go down and am reluctant to spend money if it's not quality I can use for years to come. I don't really want to be upgrading my set up any time soon.

thanks again! :)
I'd have a look around for a Diamond 9 series centre before you make your decision. You'll probably have to go second hand; you could try the classifieds on these forums or places such as Ebay. The 9.1s, being a level above, are a far better speaker than the diamond 10.0s. It's also possible that the 10 series centre would be a reasonable match for the 9.1s.

There is no reason why you couldn't use your AE speakers as surrounds as there doesn't have to be an exact match between the front speakers and the surrounds.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Are these your speakers? -

ae300 : acoustic energy

Acoustic Energy aesprit AE300 - Google Search

Do you have any idea what the woofer cone is made from? Is it light or silver colored or coated Poly? Is it some type of metal? Is it light colored paper?

I think the best solution is to move the older AE300 to the rear, and get a new front three (left/center/right).

But we need an actual statement of how much money you have to work with?

There are plenty of speakers to choose from, and later when you've got more money, you can consider adding a Sub to the mix.

At random, a place to start might be with the Acoustic Energy Neo 1 bookshelf -

Acoustic Energy Neo 1 - Google Product Search

And the Neo Center -

Acoustic Energy Neo center centre - Google Product Search

The Aegis Neo series is generally well regarded, though most favor the more expensive floorstanding Neo 3. The Neo 1 have OK bass response.

Now, because it is the front three that are critical, you don't necessarily have to stick with Acoustic Energy.

The Monitor Audio BR1 would be a similar speaker that is on close out for about £100/pr. The larger BR2 is about roughly £150/pr. I'm not sure about the center, but it should be similarly priced. These represent deep discounts on the close-out speakers. Check with QuantumElectronics.co.uk, HiFix.co.uk, PeterTyson.co.uk, or do a Google-UK Shopping search.

The Diamond 9.1 from SuperFi.co.uk is an exceptional deal on a well regarded speaker, but it is getting very difficult to find a matching 9 series center, though other might be able to direct you to one. The newest Diamond 10.CC center is about £120 each.

A search of Google found one place that has the Diamond 9.cc center -

Wharfedale 9.CC Centre Speaker

Though there are likely to be a couple of more places.

In a very small front speaker, the Diamond 10.0, with tolerable bass response, are about £129/pr. A similar and equally small front speaker, with slightly less bass response, would be the Diamond 9.0 for £59.pr from RicherSounds.com.

Again, if you can give us a clear statement of your working budget, we can help you narrow down the possibilities.

Steve/bluewizard
 

annieee3

Standard Member
Thanks bluewizard.

Yes, those ae300's are the ones i have.

The woofer cone is black. Not sure exactly what material it is but it looks like a rigid, lightweight material - possible some sort of paper.

I'm definately thinking of incorporating the AE's into the back. I don't see a point in replacing them considering my budget.

As for the exact budget- I don't technically have one. I've spent £200 on the avr and don't really want to spend more than £500 altogether at this time. Therefore I can only spend another £300 tops - but do have the option to upgrade it to a 5.1 setup later down the line.

thanks for the suggestions, I'll definately look into them.
I am keen on the wharfedales though - and now thinking should i get a pair of 9.1s for the front and the 9cc centre from the source you located. In this case I wouldn't be able to afford a sub right now. Do you think the centre speaker is more imprtant than the sub then? If so, I think I'll go with this set up?

thanks. annie
 

RichB14

Active Member
Just to throw a spanner in the works that link for the 9.cc, they don't have any and are not getting any more, tried them a couple of weeks ago.

Annoying that they don't remove from the their website.

I was also keen on the 9.1's and that centre too but didn't want to the the speakers with out knowing for sure that i could get a centre from the same range.

Liking the look of the monitor audio mentioned too.
 

annieee3

Standard Member
thanks for the heads -up. there are a few 9.cs and 9cc's selling on ebay. so might go down the second hand route if i cant find a retailer for them.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
First, there is no way to incorporate a new Subwoofer into the mix, so for now, that is the first thing that has to go.

For the record, do you actually have a Sub right now????

Can you tell us the size of the woofer in you AE300? Simply measure it from the edge of the driver frame to the far edge. Likely is is 4", more likely 5", or possibly 6". I'm talking specifically about the driver itself, not the box.

You might want to investigate the Monitor Audio BR series, you can search for the matching center speaker. That should cost you between £200 and £250 (front and center - assuming you can find a center, though far more likely that the Diamonds).

The Diamond 9.1 with the newer Diamond 10.cc center would come in at about £230. Though if you can find a new or used 9.CC center, you can probably do it for under £200.

Pushing your budget upward, the new Diamond 10.1 are down to £169/pr (SuperFi.co.uk), plus £129 for the Center still brings you home for less than £300, though not much less.

Just a few possibilities.

Steve/bluewizard
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
The importance of the centre will depend on your room layout but generally I would say the centre is probably more important than the sub. The centre takes around 60% of the total sound output and ties the sounds to the screen. If you sit right in front of your TV with limited seating locations then you can get your fronts to create a phantom centre very effectively. In this case getting a sub may well give you more than a centre would. If you have never had a sub you will not miss it but when you do get one you will hear the improvement.
 
Last edited:

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
"...the centre is probably more important than the centre....

Are you sure that's what you meant to say??? :laugh: :laugh:

Actually, PSM1 is right about the Phantom Center, several people here with very nice system use Phantom (meaning NO) center to good effect. This usually works best when the front speakers are very close to the TV.

You might get greater effect with a SUB, but you are not going to get a Sub for the price of a Center. Though I can think of one that wouldn't be too bad -

WHARFEDALE DIAMOND SW150 SUBWOOFER - available from Superfi UK

It is not a super deep Sub, but it moves some serious air.

You can buy the whole Front and Sub package at a pretty attractive price (£229) -

SuperFi.co.uk - Diamond 9.1 Bookshelf pair PLUS Wharfedale SW150 Subwoofer

That is a perfectly reasonable way to go, as explained by PSM1.

The price on the Diamond 10 series is starting to come down, even now the Diamond 10.cc is only £129, but a year from now when you are ready to upgrade, you should get an even better price on it. Though the difference won't be huge.

Steve/bluewizard
 
Last edited:

PSM1

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the pointer Steve. Edited post now. Just shows what happens when you try to watch TV and post at the same time.
 

annieee3

Standard Member
thanks for clearing up my options -

AE - 5" accross

the monitor audios do look nice, as do the 10.1's. I've found a second hand 9cs on ebay and think I'll go with that option as the lower price is a bit more tempting. saves me empting out my bank account completely!
 
Last edited:

annieee3

Standard Member
ok - now i've read what PSMI has to say i'm not sure. my speakers will be pretty close to my tv so perhaps i should go for the front and sub package? I'm not sure which is a better option but perhaps it would be safer to get the centre as i don't know if it'll be available down the line.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
If going for the diamond 9s then I would get the centre now as they will only get harder to find in the future.
 

annieee3

Standard Member
yeah i think thats what i'll do then. also - is it preferable to get the 9cc over a 10 series centre? - as i may end up spending the same amount
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Ah... to throw a spanner into the works. Despite starting out advocating Front/Center, there is a pretty compelling argument for Front/Sub.

To some extent you need to look into the future. In the Future, this Sub is also going to be gone. Which means a new Sub, is going to be in the £200 to £300 range, unless we find somebody closing something else out.

But, in the Future, the Diamond 10.CC is certain to be there, and is likely to be slightly less money. I think we can safely say in the £100 to £129 range.

Which seems the more acoustically and financially appealing future?

Now, of course the advantage to a Sub now is that it gives greater weight to your movies now.

The Front/Center Option is going to work. The Diamond 9.1 (as an example) have pretty decent bass and make pretty decent stand alone stereo speakers. But they are not going to rumble your guts like a Sub.

You need to think about the future in terms of both potential time and money. If the time until you have the money is long, then maybe I lean more towards the Sub now. It is going to give you a more satisfying overall experience in video watching.

However, if you do not see it as being all that long until you've got money again, and you don't mind the extra cost of a Sub over a Center, then I honestly believe going for the center now is the best choice.

If you are going to be stuck with the system for a long time before you can upgrade again, then get the Sub.

To put some perspective on it, if you see it as less than a year before you are ready to upgrade to a Sub, then that puts the Center out in front. You can get by without a Sub for less than a year.

But, if you see the timetable as longer than a year, I think the Sub is the best option.

Sorry to throw confusion into the mix.

Steve/bluewizard
 
Last edited:

annieee3

Standard Member
that's good - cause i decided to go for the centre and will prob wait 6 months for a sub - i should be able to wait especially since i don't really know what i'm missing out on.

I've made my purchases now so I can look forward to hearing some sweet sounds soon! thanks again for everyones help!

annie :thumbsup:
 

Passingbat

Well-known Member
How much are the diamond 9 centres going for on ebay? If less than £70, with your £300 budget, you can get the centre and the 9.1 and SW150 sub package from superfi for £230. As you will be using your AE speakers as surrounds you should be in budget. It all depends on the price of a second hand Diamond 9 series centre.
 

RichB14

Active Member
that's good - cause i decided to go for the centre and will prob wait 6 months for a sub - i should be able to wait especially since i don't really know what i'm missing out on.

I've made my purchases now so I can look forward to hearing some sweet sounds soon! thanks again for everyones help!

annie :thumbsup:
What did you go for in the end then ?
 

annieee3

Standard Member
i went for the pair of 9.1s and bought a 9cs on ebay for about £100 in the end - prefer to have a new one which this was. and i decided to wait for the sub since i'll be happy without it for the time being. so probably could have saved more money but i'm just happy i made a decision!

thanks everyone!

annie
 

Trending threads

Latest news

BritBox adds Channel 5 and Comedy Central to roster
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
AVForums Podcast: 23rd Sept - Spears and Munsil
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
T+A expands E-Series with PA 1100E integrated amplifier
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Bowers & Wilkins unveils new PX wireless ANC headphones
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Roku Premiere streaming device with 4K HDR hits UK
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Top Bottom