Discussion in 'What Speakers Should I Buy?' started by cypher007, Sep 3, 2012.
i have a budget of about £400 and an old yamaha rxv1000.
What do you need to get in this £400? A full 5.1 set? Or do you have any speakers or a sub that you can use and add to?
Will you mainly be using it for music/film/TV/games etc?
sorry, more info. ill be using it almost totally for movies, with some music pc gaming. i have a htpc and a thin wall between me and my neighbour, so a sub may not be suitable at the moment. i was thinking to buy a new av receiver package, but i already have a yamaha rxv1000. i did have 5 wharfdale linton 3xp's, that id modded with new audax tweaters, but the missus hates there size. so im looking for something with a very good clean sound, i dont need thumping bass that shakes my windows, just enough to be in keeping with the movie. what worries me is the size of some of these modern speakers, they look tiny, and dont have tweaters in some models.
ive found this set:
Q Acoustics 2000 Series Cinema Pack - Special Offers - Audiovisual Online - Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists
Q Acoustics PAH01309 | 5.1 Speaker Package | Richer Sounds
not sure why one is £530 and the other is £349, i assume there the same package?
Superfi - MONITOR AUDIO VECTOR V5.1 HOME CINEMA SPEAKER PACKAGE (BLACK) (SPECIAL OFFER)
Superfi - WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 10 HCP HOME CINEMA SPEAKER SYSTEM WITH SW150 SUBWOOFER
Cambridge Audio S AV PACK Black | 5 Speaker Package | Richer Sounds
ok im totally confused now and need to sleep.
Ok, to answer your posts in turn...
If you need small speakers, then they will have a poor bass response. Nothing you can do about that - it's physics. You'll really be wanting a sub.
I just looked up the AVR. It's plenty good enough quality-wise for the speakers you're looking at, but it's quite an old model so misses out on some handy features. Most notably, HDMI. (as far as I can tell)
Without HDMI, you are making life hard for yourself - you'll probably end up routing audio and video separately - video direct from source to TV, and audio from source to AVR. You'll then have to change the channel on both the TV and AVR when you change source.
Ok, the Q-acoustics 200-series is fairly highly-regarded, and should serve you well if you can accommodate that size (I assumed you needed really tiny ones when you mention female involvement)
The difference between the £530 and £350 sets is that the £530 one is the "i" version (2010i instead of 2010 etc)
Monitor Audio - I've not heard these but I'd expect them to be good for what they are. Unfortunately, what they are is a small, 'style' system. I'd expect lower performance from these, but they're cheaper and probably more wife-friendly. So that's a compromise you have to decide which side to come down on.
Wharfedale. Yes. I generally recommend the diamond range for people looking for budget speakers, but I didn't actually realise you could get them as a 5.1 deal. The only down side to this package is the size of the fronts. They probably come packaged as the individual speakers, so if you speak to the retailer, you might be able to negotiate a package with larger fronts. The good thing about the diamond range is that there are a lot of different options that work together - different sizes of bookshelf and floorstander. So you can upgrade bits.
Cambridge audio. I've never heard these, but my but would steer me away from them. I could be wrong though. Also note that this package doesn't include a subwoofer in that price.
My advice would be to go and have a listen to some of these and see what you like. If I had to pick one right now and without listening for myself, I'd say the Wharfedales. But I'd want at least 10.1 instead of 10.0 as fronts.
shes not totally crazy, i recon i could get away with some floor standers at a push, would prefer no bigger than bookshelf speakers.
i was quite interestedin the wharfdales, but couldnt find many people talking about them on here in a surround setup. most people were trying to decide between the q 2000i or the monitor audio vectors.
the other thought i have is on wether to get a 5.0 system or have a sub, due to neighbour considerations, it might be turned off most of the time.
which setup would fare better with the sub truned off for bass?
If the sub is set up correctly it should not be overpowering and there should be no need to turn it off. The aim of the sub is to extend the bass response of the speakers and not to just blast out the bass. hence it should be a seamless transition from speaker to sub so that you do not really know there is a sub involved. If concerned about the neighbours then you could dial the sub down a little lower than usual and then you could have it on all the time.
All the speaker packages mentioned above are good options considering your budget etc. If you had to look at smaller speakers then the Monitor Audio Radius range would be worth a look although they may be over budget. Do you currently have a sub? If so you could continue to use this.
The other option would be to buy the front 2 or 3 speakers now and then add the others later. If doing this you could afford better speakers like the Monitor Audio BX range.
i dont currently have a sub. i suppose i could break up the purchase, im just a little impatient i guess. if it was between the qa and ma vectors which would be better.
would i definately notice the difference between the ma's and a more expensive solution? as i can get the ma setup for £299 which seems a steal at that price when they were £700.
Well the Cambridge S70 package holds the most promise for a speakers capable of operating without a Subwoofer.
Tiny speakers simply won't cut it on their own.
Do you have any speakers at all right now? Perhaps a reasonably good old pair that you could use for surround speakers?
The Wharfedale Set is nice, and do come with a Sub. Keep in mind, you can control the sound level of the Sub. Most have their Sub turned up out of proportion with the rest of the sound because they want that thumping weight for music and movies. But you are free to dial it down a bit and make it a little less overbearing.
Also, the Sub has a lot of flexibility in its placement. You could place it across the room away from the thin wall and it would still work fine.
My recommendation is that you get bigger front speaker. Speakers that are capable of standing on their own as good stereo music speakers. Then forget the rear speakers for now, or use some old just OK speakers in the rear until you are able to upgrade them.
So, now we are looking at Front and Center with a Budget up to ~£400.
The Diamond 10.2 with 6.5" bass drivers and response down to 40hz are about £200. The mid-sized and somewhat ideal Diamond Center speakers is the Diamond 10.CS (£120/ea). That brings your total to £320.
If you want to go one speaker larger, then the floorstanding Diamond 10.4 with twin 5" bass drivers is not going to overpower a small room. The Diamonds to not have exaggerated overpower bass; they are very neutral and balanced. Unfortunately, the Diamond 10.4 are about £329/pr, but you save the cost of buying stands for them. The Diamond 10.4 plus the Diamond 10.CS totals (£330 + £120) ~£450.
There is one smaller Diamond Center, the Diamond 10.CC with twin 4" bass drivers, price at a modest £99. But with that small Center, you are somewhat limited to bookshelf speakers. However, the larger Diamond 10.CS has twin 5" bass drivers and can span the range into all but the largest floorstanding speakers. If you never plan to upgrade, then the Diamond 10.CC is fine, but if there is a chance of upgrading to larger speakers in the Front, then it is worth the extra money to get the Diamond 10.CS.
Now, there are other options. If you are sure you will limited yourself too bookshelf, then take a look at the Monitor Audio BX1 and possible the BX2 in front. Those are in a similar price range to the Wharfedale.
If you really want to save money, then consider the Tannoy Mercury "V" series. The Mercury V4 are quality good looking speakers at a modest £269/pr with twin 6" bass/mid-bass drivers and response down to 32hz. The bookshelf version of this speakers is the Mercury V1 for an extremely modest £99/pr with 5" bass drivers and response down to 45hz. The Tannoy Mercury VC Center is £104 with twin 4" bass drivers.
That complete system would be -
£270/pr = Tannoy Mercury V4 - Front
£105/ea = Tannoy Mercury VC - Center
£100/pr = Tannoy Mercury V1 - Rear
£475 = Total
That is more than you wanted to spend, but that is a lot of system for the money. You could leave off the Rear speakers, and upgrade them later, for a new total of £375/subset.
Superfi - TANNOY MERCURY V4 FLOOR STANDING SPEAKERS (PAIR)
Superfi - TANNOY MERCURY V1 SPEAKERS (PAIR)
Superfi - TANNOY MERCURY VC CENTRE SPEAKER
Now, the systems you spec'd out yourself are fine, if you really feel you can limit yourself to those small front speakers. The Q Acoustic 2000 series are fine well regarded speakers, and the Subwoofer that comes with the set is not huge and is not going to blow the roof off. Plus, as I said, you can adjust the level of the sub to accommodate your circumstances. For the money, the Cambrige S70 system is a great by for that small amount of money. The Wharfedale system based around the Diamond 10.0 speakers is also very nice, and within a limited context, those speakers will do an OK job for music.
If you don't mind a bit of mix and match, then consider this -
Superfi - WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 9.1 SPEAKERS & SW150 SUBWOOFER 2.1 SPEAKER PACKAGE
Excellent high value system to start with. But these are the older Diamond 9 series, you can't really get Diamond 9 Centers any more. But you can mix 'n' match with the newer Diamond 10 series. Again, this is going to stretch your budget, but you don't need to make the full purchase all at once, you can upgrade over time.
The above system is £229 for a pair of 5" bookshelf and a Sub. Depending on the budget at the time, you can add either Diamond 10.1 (5", £149/pr) or the larger Diamond 10.2 (6.5", £220/pr) and either the Diamond 10.CC (£99/ea) or the Diamond 10.CS (£120/ea) Center.
So, for a hypothetical system -
£229/st = Diamond 9.1 + SW150 Sub
£149/pr = Diamond 10.1 - Front
£120/pr = Diamond 10.CS Center
£498 = Total
Yes, that is more money, but you don't have to do it all at once, and it is a much better, more satisfying system in the long run. Keep in mind there are way to trim the budget slightly. You could keep the Diamond 9.1 for the front, add the Diamond 10.CC center, and use either Diamond 9.0 for the rear (very cheap if you can find them) or the Diamond 10.0 in the rear.
In this case we have -
£229 = Diamond 9.1 + SW150 Sub
£110/pr = Diamond 10.0 (ALT: Richer Sounds: Diamond 9.0 = £49/pr)
£_99/ea = Diamond 10.CC Center
£438 = Total (ALT Total = £377)
But, that said, the systems you came up with on your own, area fine systems for the money. If you are going to be content with limited size. Though the Cambridge S70 should do a pretty good job, and is available at an excellent price.
The path I'm laying out is certainly more convoluted and more complex, but it ultimately leads to a better system.
Again, the Diamond Package, the Q Acoustic Package, the MA Vector system, and the Cambridge Package are all decent speakers and well worth the asking price. If you feel you can be satisfied with them, as many are, then they are all fine and exceptional value.
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