New To Audio, Need Help [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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11-30-2004, 01:35 AM
Right now I have an old Akai AM-M5 Receiver/Amp powering 4 crappy Sony 6 1/2" Speakers put together from 2 different stereo shelf systems. I'm looking to upgrade to a better system than my current setup. I don't want to spend too much cash but right now I'm looking for a 2 Channel Receiver, Bookshelf Speakers, and possibly a Sub. I will use this system 90% of the time to listen to music, 10% for movies (if that), and I listen mostly to rap and I LOVE my music loud with LOTS of bass!!

This is what I have come up with so far.
Receiver- Sony STR-DE197 about $150
Bookshelf Speakers- Infinity Primus 160 or JBL E50 each around $240 for a pair
Sub- JBL E250 P about $250

I don't know exactly if the sub can be connected to that receiver, but I did a little reading and all of these products got pretty good reviews and they don't cost an arm and a leg. So please, any input about any good and affordable Receivers, Speakers, or Subs would be greatly appreciated.

11-30-2004, 03:33 AM
Hi tik,

There are a lot of possibilities, especially in speakers, but as a starting point I'll suggest the following: 1) Onkyo receiver TX-8211, about $200 at Circuit City; 2) Athena Technology AS-B1 speakers, about $150 at Best Buy: 3) Athena Technology AS-P400 subwoofer, about $300 at Best Buy. If you're willing to shop online and/or used you may be able to save some money. I'd like to emphasize that this is a starting point. There are lots of good combos out there and I'm sure that other folks here will point some of them out. Just be patient and do a lot of listening. Make sure you can return items that don't sound that good when you get them home and be willing to trust your own ears. Other people's opinions can be helpful but yours is the one that counts in the end. Good luck and have fun.

11-30-2004, 06:31 AM
If you have a CompUSA nearby they have a great deal on the Infinity Primus 250's for $99 each. Check to see if they have any available if not ask if you can buy a pair and have them transfered to another store. Also the Tweeter store has some Polk 90et for $175 each, these I believe are the Euro version of the Monitor 60's. Pretty good deal on both of these items if you don't want to spend a lot. Neither are bookshelf's but I know the Primus 250's take up very little room.

12-07-2004, 10:12 PM
tik, ok the trick to finding the perfect sound system is to first identify your tastes and budget, you have obviously done that, next, research and compare components, so far so good, and to finally audition. I think I know what kind of sound you want, and as much as the audiophiles will hate me to say this i have to in your particular case recommend Cerwin Vega. They play Extremely loud and have tons of bass output. They are not the best speakers, but for your budget and listening preference they should be a great buy.(I used to own a pair of E-712's when I first started this hobby and those things loosened the paneling in my house!) now as far as the receiver goes I stay away from sony, but I would agree on the Onkyo TX-8511 or even a Denon receiver.(GREAT companies!)

12-08-2004, 07:06 AM
Tik, I would agree with meephis in his suggestion of Cerwin Vega. It sounds like you would enjoy the sound of a CV or Klipsch speaker, lots of bass and very strong highs. They are not for everyone, but if you hear them and like them, you can get alot of bang for your buck.

Look at entry level surround sound recievers from Denon, Marantz, and Onkyo. If you can push your budget for you reciever, the Marantz SR4400 is a fantastic reciever and can be had for around $250ish. Also check out the Onkyo TX-SR501. I don't see why you'd want to look at a stereo reciever when you can get a Dolby Digital/DTS surround reciever for the same price or maybe just a bit more. You'll regret not getting one eventually in the future, especially if you say watch movies, even if it's very rare.

If you can land yourself a Cambridge Soundworks BassCube 12 or 15, they are pretty good for the dirt cheap prices you can get them for. I have a Basscube 15, which I picked up for $220. While it gets blown away in terms of tight, quality bass compared to my Velodyne, the Basscube serves quite well for loud movies/music without getting muddy. Definately a steal at $220ish.

12-08-2004, 08:51 AM
Check out the Harman/Kardon HK3375 stereo receiver at The website has it listed for $192, but I received a flyer in the mail from them this week advertising it for $170 (limited quantities). Call them before ordering online. I've negotiated prices with them over the phone. This model has been discontinued, but you might be able to find one at your local Circuit City. Also, check for reviews of this product online. I think I saw one at

You might be able to find a pair of Polk RTi28 or 38 (more bass) for cheap since they've been replaced. I bought my son a pair of RTi25 at Circuit City for less than $200 when they were replaced by the 28.

I haven't priced these subs lately, but you might be able to find a demo Paradigm PDR-8 or PDR-10 in your price range.

As far as bass goes, I think the size of your room will have a lot to do with how much bass response you get. You might be able to get the bass you want from smaller speakers and sub, like the RTi28 PDR-8 combo, in a small room.

I would echo that there are lots of options out there. My recommendations are based on my experiences and tastes. If at all possible you should listen to these products yourself. You can listen to Polk and Harman/Kardon at Circuit City. Paradigm has lots of retailers so you should be able to find the PDR subs to audition. Some online dealers have liberal return policies. Good luck!