Looking for speakers on a budget [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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12-01-2003, 10:48 AM
Hello everyone,

I am in the process of buying a new home that needs several repairs, so my budget is limited. I would like to spend no more than $400 on speakers. I currently have Yamaha speakers (purchased at Best Buy) and a Yamaha powered sub (YST-SW150) with two 8" woofers. They are powered by a Sony 885 receiver that I purchased about 3 years ago. The room is large and open and I will need to mount the rear speakers on the wall or ceiling. I am willing to keep my sub for now, but the other speakers must go, they sound like crap. Any Suggestions?



12-01-2003, 04:16 PM
What's wrong with the Yamaha speakers? Do they buzz? Sound distorted? Or do they just lack the kind of sonics you're looking for?

The reason I ask is because of the price. If you're looking to get 5 new speakers (fronts, center and rears), that puts you at about $80 per speaker, including tax & shipping. That would severely limit your possibilities, but if that's your goal, I would probably look to Polk speakers or <a href="http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshowdetl.cfm?&PartNumber=300-640&DID=7">Dayton BR-1s</a>

I would think a better option might be getting a decent pair of main speakers and using the Yamahas as surrounds, where they might be more able to meet the sonic demands placed on them. Even run with a phantom center channel. If this is a possible option, I would highly recommend a pair of the Ed Frias AR DIY speakers which should run you under $350. They're very easy to put together, but you can also get them fully assembled for just over $400 with s&h (see http://www.speakercity.com/sc_kits.shtml#efekit). Later, when you come across some more cash, replace the surrounds and get yourself a real center channel!

12-01-2003, 07:17 PM
that the end-all total?

For what you want to spend, I would get a pair of Athena B1s with the matching Center (C-1?). That is a pretty good sub, so I wouldn't be in a hurry to change it. Get another pair of B1s for rears when you get the money, or spend another $400 on F1s and move the B1s to the rear.

I'm kinda hot on these speakers for budget systems. Sound nicer than they should. Next investment should be a better receiver. No offense, but with better speakers, the improvement will be worth it. Tax refund coming?


12-01-2003, 07:24 PM
Ditto what the others have said, with that budget you're better off sticking with a decent pair of bookshelf speakers or at least looking for a decent front three set. You got a $400 budget right now, no sense in wasting it on something that won't serve your needs down the road. You already got a pair of speakers plus a subwoofer. The Yammies are probably fine for surround duty in the short-run. With movie soundtracks, you can get away with using mismatched surround speakers even though it's far from ideal.

The key is to find a set of main/center speakers that you're happy with, and match the surround speakers to the front three later on. In order to do that, you need to audition as many speakers as possible and make sure that you bring the exact same test discs with you to each audition. Take your time, and keep in mind that the better speaker manufacturers out there generally prefer to sell their speakers through specialty retailers, rather than mass merchants or mail order houses. Makes like B&W, Paradigm, Energy, PSB, Boston, Klipsch, Polk, JBL, and Infinity all make speakers in your price range, and you should try them out and see which type of sound suits your tastes better.

12-02-2003, 12:03 PM
I know it's a little out of your set price range, but the Omni Sats from Mirage are incredible. The sound imaging and sound stage are awsome. For the price range your looking at its going to be hard to find anything that won't be quickly outgrown. Usually the price range for a package set is around a grand. Here is a link if you want to check them out.


If you don't want to spend that I agree that you should stick with what you have. You would be surprised what a difference spending just a little more can make. Also you don't have to buy all at one time. You could piece together a set little by little. Good luck with whatever you choose.


12-02-2003, 01:12 PM
Thanks to all that have replied. One dilema that I have is getting my wife to let me put these speakers in the family room. Large front speakers aren't the problem, it is the size of the rear speakers. The rear speakers are large for bookshelf speakers. The room is open, so I don't have a way to hide them I was hoping to find something was small in size for the family room to install immediately. One reason why my budget is limited is because it has a basement that I am going turn into my home theatre room. I would like to put the money in a good receiver and speakers for it. Is there a noticable difference if I mismatch the rear speakers only?

12-02-2003, 02:10 PM
It wouldn't hurt anything to mismatch the rear from the front. The ideal thing is for all speakers to be sonicly matched. But they don't have to be. Mine aren't matched and I still haven't found a theater that sounds as good as my home theater in this area.