Best bang for the buck speakers for a bar [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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07-06-2011, 08:26 AM
Hello all,

Wondering any opinions on the best bang for the buck as I am looking for some speakers for my bar. I want full-range 3way speakers for a 700 square foot area.

I will most likely have to purchase 4, but if I could get away with 3 that would definitely be nice.

I am looking for a quality sound from a decent brand that has good longevity behind their products.

Essentially, I want speakers that can run off a simple receiver and an amplifier. So, what's the best bang for my buck in your opinion?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.


07-06-2011, 08:46 AM
Hi Bill -

I don't have any direct experience in this particular market but I can at least give an opinion based off of what I've heard while at bars/gyms/places.

The best I've consistently heard are from JBL.

Why would I say this - well - typically if I am at a place and I hear the music and it either is surprisingly good quality of sound I'll look, or if it is ass I'll look. JBL for me have always tended to surprise me at the quality of sound. Both in bars and gym.

Just thinking out loud - but I would suggested getting some receiver or amplifier with tone controls. It will probably be cheaper to reduce the highs that way than put up dampening material around your bar. And remember you can always add to or subtrack bass by the distance the speaker is to the rear wall.

Good luck - sounds like a fun project - let me know what you decide on - and where's the bar? I think it is beer 30, right?

07-06-2011, 09:55 AM
Hello again,

I'll be the first to admit I am a complete novice when it comes to this type of thing....I've got a pair of Yamaha NS-777's in the living room and I have my Bose PC speakers on right now but beyond that....

Could you give me some model numbers to take into consideration and browse around the net/eBay for?

The bar is in Chicago - we're redoing the upstairs and I'm tossing around some ideas. If you had an idea of a decently priced receiver/amplifier with tone control I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I appreciate you taking time out of your day to help me with this!


Mr Peabody
07-06-2011, 03:45 PM
It might help to let us know your budget.

I would add the Cerwin Vega, I think the former CLS is now XLS series. Not sure how they would compare to JBL. Zu Audio's Omen would also be a good choice but if using four the impedance could complicate things.

Yamaha and Onkyo both make stereo receivers, looking at $300.00 to $500.00 here. If radio isn't important you can get a 100 watt integrated from Jolida for around $500.00.

If in your budget also consider separates from

07-06-2011, 05:43 PM
Cerwin Vega CLS 215 - $1000 a pair. If they have a pro-series. These are home speakers and very large but they will fill the space and then some.

And they sound quite good to boot. If I was in the market for $1000 pair of speakers these would be a consideration - even for female vocals, classical, and jazz. Not perfect but nothing is and I like them better than than most for this money.

How can you not love this kind of advertisement "With guaranteed “eviction notice” performance"

Love it!

07-08-2011, 04:24 PM
Cerwin Vega CLS 215 - $1000 a pair. If they have a pro-series. These are home speakers and very large but they will fill the space and then some.
Love it!

So how many would you recommend for 1400 square feet considering you have heard these speakers?

William Kramer

Mr Peabody
07-08-2011, 07:59 PM
Unless the bar is an odd shape two speakers should do fine. I'd still put some good power behind them like the Emotiva or some used Adcom or Rotel.

07-08-2011, 10:57 PM
Yes these speakers are not low power amp friendly.

My nearest audiophile dealer picked up the Cerwin Vega line. I think the expectation would be that they would get slaughtered by the likes of B&W and Paradigm which they carry. Umm neither of them makes a speaker for this money that sounds as good or as loud or as deep IME. Big powerful dynamic sound to under 30hz without too much box. I like them.

I would e-mail them and ask them what would fit the bill for 1400 square feet - somewhat dependent on where they will be placed. They may have alternates - CV used to have a pro series (I don't know if they still do) but they are often a bit uglier but tougher and some pro models are actually cheaper. PMC used to have a Pro model and home model and the Pro model was exactly the same but in an uglier cabinet. Wharfedale does the same - you can buy Wharfedale active pro version of the Diamond series standmounts for less money than their home non active (no amp built in) versions.

The thing with the CV is the protection circuitry - you really should not be able to blow them.

Way back they used to make a D9 which was a massive beast - the advantage was they were dead easy to drive - 5 watts was enough - the new ones sound way better - not as easy to drive though and the price is exactly the same as it was in the early 90s. Get an extra woofer too and a horn layout.

This is a fairly popular brand so maybe you can find a place to hear them before you buy.

Mr Peabody
07-09-2011, 05:16 AM
You might also want to shop price online, I saw the CLS series on Amazon some time back and the price was lower than quoted by RGA, it may also depend on whether you are in Canada, as RGA, or U.S. I liked the CLS 215, with two 15" drivers, they should move some air.

The XLS are the new version of CLS

07-09-2011, 10:42 AM
Mr. P

You have to be careful these days on price - stores are selling speakers as "each" which is dumb I know but I am seeing this more common. This is fine if they will sell you one speaker but if you can't buy them in singles then to me it is dishonest advertising. So I have seen prices for $499 but make sure this is a per pair price. I can't see them as pairs for that price - CV could not make any money on them - I am amazed they can sell them as pairs for $1k. Not because of the parts so much as the shipping.

I was about to review a pair of really interesting $2700 speakers but the shipping one way to me was over $1200 and that is a lot of money for a tiny outfit. very interesting speakers

One of the problems of being in Canada is the duty for bringing in American gear.

Mr Peabody
07-09-2011, 12:14 PM
I believe the Amazon pricing is each. I thought you were recommending the 12" 3-way where I threw out the model with two 15"'s for fun. I did notice the XLS series took a price increase from the CLS. Also, Amazon was just an example, sometimes a good deal can be found online.

Mr Peabody
07-09-2011, 12:23 PM
The speakers look interesting, if I had seen them before committing to Zu I might have given them a listen. I wonder what price range those NTV amps are in, I didn't realize Richard Gray built amps, I only heard of the power products.

07-10-2011, 07:55 AM
JBL ND310 you should be able to get them for under $600 (i got my pair for 90) .... Not that they sound special or anything but we had them in a huge room (around 1000sqft) and all these speakers do is play loud and louder, power hungry though. If you put ample power behind them they will fill your bar no problem. If you still wanted more speakers you could just hang two bookshelves in the back of the bar as well