New here and needing some Budget HT help... [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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07-26-2004, 03:50 AM
I have a Bose Acoustimass 15 series I system that I'm getting rid of, as my Grado SR-60 headphones do what it and many speakers can only dream of, although I only paid about 500$ for the Bose, and it came also with the 10 series II passive sub and cables, mounts, etc.

I can sell the whole bose collection for a bunch on eBay, totaling I hope near 6-7 hundred dollars. After that, I have a KLH center and bookshelf pair from their HT9900 system lying around, and I need to know what I can get for under 300$. I've considered the Cambrige Sound Works MovieWorks 58 system (39-16khz for 240 from CSW's ebay store, refurb., and KLH's 9250B (250w @8ohms, 28-20khz), which seems very appealing for 100$ from my local Best Buy, new. With the KLH towers, I don't think I'll need a dedicated sub, and I used some different ones before, when I used to use Dolby pro logic exclusively and was impressed, but that was with the 9912, which is similar and I used EQ's back then . The 9912's had a clean crisp top end, and I think they'd do a great job for full bodied bass on a budget, but is the CSW system capable of more, since it uses an 8" 50w woofer as opposed to a pair of 12"s at close to 100w (using the reciever)?

Any reply here is greatly appreciated, as I'm so close to chucking the awful Bose crap, but I'll always keep the 171's, their last good speaker that I got used for 45$ for the pair. Lucky me!

07-26-2004, 01:28 PM
First off, what are you trying to accomplish?

Sounds like you've already got some speakers that you can recycle, so that leaves you with needing a receiver. For $300, the receiver alone can consume your entire budget, and that's just for an entry level model.

If you're looking for speakers, tower speakers at that $100 price point will likely have some serious deficiencies. Don't look at the specs, pay attention to how it sounds. Does the midrange sound realistic? Are highs natural or do they sound artificially boosted? Are the lows full, tight, and even, or bloated and overly boomy when the music hits specific notes? Unfortunately, BB is just about the worst acoustical environment you can possibly conjure up for speaker auditioning. Most independent audio retailers provide much better places to do listenings.

Since you have so much entry level gear lying around, sounds like you've done a lot of buying, but not enough listening. Going the ebay route with speakers that you've never heard before ensures that you'll be back here soon asking the same questions.

Like I said, you first need to figure out what you want from your system, and then figure out what you can accomplish within your budget. I suggest that you get out and do some listening. Bring your own discs with you and try out as much equipment as possible, including some items that are outside of your price range.

With a total budget of $300, you're probably better off with a used receiver and a decent pair of bookshelf speakers. I would start in the $200 range for a good pair of speakers, and forget about the tower models. Bookshelf speakers in that price range will probably be much more accurate and sound a lot more realistic with a wide range of sources. Ultra cheap tower speakers typically have huge problems in their overall balance and boomy "one note" bass.

07-26-2004, 02:38 PM
Hi, thanks for the advice. I should have pointed out that I already have a reciever, and I consider it to be quite decent for all my needs. It's a Sherwood RD-7103 Dolby Digital/DTS 100w x5 @6ohms. I'm A/B 'ing the KLH 9250B towers right now and brand new out of the box they are sonically and magnitudally a different beast altogether. Soundstage went through the roof, the treble got this new shine to it, and the midrange is close to that of my Grado's. These towers are more musical than I realized, with more impact than their budget suggests. The bass is produced by 2x 12" subs reportedly able to drop to 28hz, so immediately I feel things and hear lows that an amplified 46hz in a dual 5 1/4" woofer 7th order enclosure can't match, no matter how much eq is put into it. No eq for the KLH though, it's sounding THAT good, perhaps better after burn in. The only gripe I have is that the woofers are surrounded by treated foam and not rubber, although if those subs die I can always replace them with more 8 ohm subs with similar specs. At this point, I may forego the whole MovieWorks 58 consideration and stick to my findings. BTW, 2 things: 1. have you heard what Grado SR-60's sound like? Budget orgasm. Plain and simple :D
2. Is there a budget (sub 100$) home amp out there specifically for subwoofers, and is there a dual channel one?

This Guy
07-26-2004, 04:17 PM
1. Yeah man I got a pair, they're great. 2. Why do you need a subwoofer amp? You're already powering the 12" woofers in the KLH's with your Sherwood. But yeah there is
Why do you need a dual channel one?

This Guy
07-26-2004, 04:21 PM
Oh here's another amp. same performance, $10 cheaper

07-26-2004, 09:25 PM
What's happening... I wondered if amping both 12"s by separate channels with a y-split mono LFE signal would boost the bass, but you're right, it isn't a priority. When I'm aching for more I'll consider those amps as my top options. Musicality is more important, although there's impact to spare. There's plenty of bass even at 30/65 on my volume control. My biggest concern now is what speakers out there are timbre matched to the 9250B. As you know or know now, I use the center(in my posession) and rear channels (presently in Port Orford, OR)of the HT9900- I used to have the whole system but the sub was lame and I didn't need one of the pairs of satellites so I gave them to my sister- also from KLH, and although the center has great dialog capacities, it doesn't share the same treble or imaging. But in either case, I look forward to playing GTA vice vity in DTS, ooohhh that'll be something...

07-27-2004, 07:35 AM
First of all, those speakers have 12" WOOFERS, not subwoofers. There is a very distinct difference. If you attempt to add a subwoofer amplifier to these the sound will be drastically changed. Because these speakers have woofers and not subwoofers, they(woofers) produce sound that goes well into the midrange. I'll bet those midranges aren't capable of much output below 200Hz. My opinion is to keep the BOSE. Wire the AM-15 to the front channel with the L/R satellites, wire the AM-10 module to the rear channel(not through the AM-15) with the two rear satellites and sell the KLH.

07-27-2004, 11:04 AM
The 9912s at $100 a pair were great speakers. However, for quality the nOrh 3.0s I used to have produced better sound. The dowside was they didn't produce bass below 75Hz. As the 9912s produced boomy bass (exagerated bass content from 35Hz - 63hz) I didn't consider that a loss. What to do, IMO, would be to sell the Bose, get a B-stock or used set of Rocket Tykes and upgrade the subwoofer to the HSU VTF-2. If musicality of a speaker is more important than it sounding good for gaming or HT purposes, depending upon how much you use it for HT/gaming vs. music, go with a pair of speakers from Odyssey, B&W, PSB, B&W, etc., as that will satisfy you in the long term.

07-27-2004, 07:11 PM
to mustang: The mids go alot lower than bose cubes. Probably closer to 100Hz, and the 12"s are said to go as low as 28. Bose goes to 46 and is terribly boomy(They'll never admit that). The KLH is still burining in and it seems to only get better. I use Grado SR60 headphones and these speakers in stereo are sounding like them. Warm midrange, deep yet impactful bass, and coherent treble that reaches higher and higher upon demand. Bose got whipped, so the Bose goes. I'm thinking that musically these suckers kill, but an LFE amp would be nice for HT purposes in the future, since the 12"s play in subwoofer ranges and alot deeper than any Bose out there. Remember, Bose doesn't actually make subwoofers by defininition(20-120/150hz or something), they make bass modules(46-200Hz, not enough to compensate for bad satellite midbass(280-13.3khz, becoming directional and suffering from significant mid-low bass dropout).

to bryan: These are the 9250B, similar to the 9912, but they are built with slightly different components. I have defiantly refused to use an EQ on them, and they don't feel exaggerated at all. The brands you suggested are sooooo expensive, but thanks for the suggestions! Too bad my odyssey is that of econo-audiophile status... I'm almost there =}To demonstrate my point with bass, I played "In The Fade" from Queens of the stone age/ Rated R. The bass guitar is balanced from note to note as it plays its rythm. On most car systems, the notes are imbalanced, with half the notes being nearly twice as loud.

Keep replying, as I'll keep you all informed of how these towers are stacking up!