what speakers for under 500$? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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10-17-2004, 03:21 PM
ok so i am about to start building my first decent stereo system, which would mainly be used to play vinyl, some CDs and just about every kind of music in existence.
i've already settled for one of those nice pro-ject turntables with my trusty goldring 1022gx which cant currently display all of its ability on a crappy 130$ turntable... Also VERY possibly a rotel RA-01 amp (i cant understand paying 200 for the remote on the RA-02) and then i still have to choose speakers and CD player.
So, which speakers would you people suggest for under 500$? i would like them to have decent detail and imaging, and defined bass would be appreciated, but not needed.

10-17-2004, 04:17 PM
Hmm where are you?

I hear the Project table - with a Rotel integrated - one of the RA models I don't know which but a cheaper one. $500.00US???

Audio Note AX Two speakers - an outstanding set-up. They retail for $550.00 but you'll get em for $500.00 or a bit less. http://forums.audioreview.com/showthread.php?t=6696

The speaker is made in Denmark uses quality Vifa Drivers - They're going to be difficult to find - but IMO they're the best sounding sub $1kUS speaker I've come across.

Money and quality are not the same thing - Your project beats a lot of turntables I've heard that cost more - the basic Project I liked better than my NAD stock table which costs more. The AX Two is IMO a superior sounding speaker than the B&W 705 for LOT more money.

A couple of people on other forums have these as well http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=16130

Again there are only about 25 dealers in North America - but they're a find - I've considered them myself for a third system - but i only have two rooms :D

10-17-2004, 09:11 PM
Three very different options:
Epos ELS3: very clear, very accurate monitor with terrific mids and highs that will faithfully reproduce whatever you feed it except the lower octaves. It's also easy to drive however eventually you'll want to add a sub.

Magnaplaner MMG: Planer, unsurpassed speed and coherence for the price range, smooth mids, a tad rolled off at both ends, Maggie sound. It requires space and gravitas from your amp so be forewarned. Mail order only so you'll have to hear bigger Maggies first and see if you like their sound. As with the Epos, you'll want to add a sub as your budget permits.

Athena F2: Big, ballsy floorstander that receives terrific raves. I've only heard 'em at BB (hardly conducive to getting any realistic impressions) so I'll reserve judgement. They are full range (no sub) and floorstanders (no stands) which may or may not be an advantage depending on your preferences. They are also the easiest to find and audition.

PSB is also purported to be excellent in this price range but I haven't heard them.

Hope this helps.

10-18-2004, 01:10 AM
Haven't heard them but have heard good things about the company. I do plan on buying some for a room because they have been compared favorably to other speakers that I have enjoyed. They are a little bit higher than the price range you stated (about $600) if you get the kit, instead of them already assembled.

QSO 626 Standard

Low Frequency cutoff: 42 Hz (-3dB)

Sensitivity: 90dB/1W/1m

Woofers: 2x 6.5 polypropylene/butyl surround

Tweeter: 1 Seas softdome w/level control

Crossover: 2.5 kHz, series first-order

Power Requirements: 20W-150W rms

Impedance: 4 or 8 Ohms (specify)

Dimensions (HxWxD): 24x10x13

Weight: 40 lbs

Cabinet/Finishes: genuine lite or dark oak veneer, snapoff black grill, 3/4 MDF with 1 MDF front/back baffles


10-18-2004, 05:13 AM
Keep an eye out on B-stock gear or used gear too. Something such as the Rocket RS550 (http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?spkrfull&1102993887) may work for you. Be even better if the price included risers.

10-18-2004, 11:41 AM
where am i geographically? Spain. am i correct to assume that some of this hi-fi stuff will be easier to find in europe?
The rotel is the RA-01. the cheaper one. exactly the same as the RA-02 except for the remote. Just under 500$ where i live (about 450€)
also, any comments on the rotel and the cd player or should i leave those for their respective forums?

10-18-2004, 02:34 PM
The amp is good - but I believe in system synergy - it just so happens my dealer had the Rotel and the project and the AX Two speakers all running together - actually they initially had the AN E/L running which was outstanding. But I wanted to hear the AX Two. The cd player was a Teac and then we changed to a pricey Audio Note 3.1(which is well over $3,000.00US and that was for the demo model).

I don;t think anyone can tell you which speaker to actually buy - but certainly listen to the AX Two if you can find a dealer - check the distributor listing on their site - it's bottom left of the screen but you can barely see it - click on it and then click on your continent. Hopefully the dealer will carry B&W or Paradigm or PSB or other - get them to bring in a model from any of these guys at at least double the asking price of the Audio Note AX-Two.

I would suggest dynaudio audience 42 but given its power demands it would be a trailer in the race for me.

As to cd players. Arcam is always very solid in the budget territory - really budget cd players generally don't have much separating them if at all. Cambridge Audio/Rotel/ NAD etc should all do a good job.

11-18-2004, 09:41 AM
Good advice from GRA.

Synergistic system on a budget:
NHT SB3 bookshelf speakers $600 (speakers are not the place to skimp)
NAD C320BEE integrated amp $399 (great bang for the buck)
NAD C521i CD player $299 (discontinued and can be had for a standard discontinued price0

Good choice of turntable.

Don't believe in tweeks but this one actualy works: Audio Quest sorbathane matt on turntable will make it sound like a TT costing twice as much $100