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  1. #26
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    Hello IRG

    Reading through this thread and adding my 2 cents...

    Yes, A4less is a reputable online retailer. I purchased my Mordaunt Short 902i speakers from them at $225./pr. Too bad they have sold out of them already.

    One of our other community posters, Poppchubby, found the MS 902'i still selling new for $225.00/pr at http://www.needledoctor.com/. I am a huge advocate of this particular brand/model and highly suggest you consider the additional $25.00 over your speaker budget as well worth it. You may not want to upgrade your speakers again if you get this model....

    Other speaker options depending on personal preference and budget.....

    http://www.audioadvisor.com/products.asp?dept=49
    There are a couple of options for your price point here.

    I recently heard the Cambridge Audio S30 and I can highly recommend these speakers as well. I did not like the CA S70's or the CA electronics I heard but the S30's are quite exceptional and I think they are $220/pr. Also well worth it.

    http://www.crutchfield.com/
    Lots of speaker pair options at or about $200/pr.

    Good luck with your research and your selections.

    LeRoy

  2. #27
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    How about this: http://www.spearitsound.com/nad/C715.asp

    I like Paradigm but the Atoms don't play very low, I think only down to 100 Hz. The C715 does have a sub out for a future addition of subwoofer though.
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  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeRoy
    Reading through this thread and adding my 2 cents...

    Yes, A4less is a reputable online retailer. I purchased my Mordaunt Short 902i speakers from them at $225./pr. Too bad they have sold out of them already.

    One of our other community posters, Poppchubby, found the MS 902'i still selling new for $225.00/pr at http://www.needledoctor.com/. I am a huge advocate of this particular brand/model and highly suggest you consider the additional $25.00 over your speaker budget as well worth it. You may not want to upgrade your speakers again if you get this model....

    Other speaker options depending on personal preference and budget.....

    http://www.audioadvisor.com/products.asp?dept=49
    There are a couple of options for your price point here.

    I recently heard the Cambridge Audio S30 and I can highly recommend these speakers as well. I did not like the CA S70's or the CA electronics I heard but the S30's are quite exceptional and I think they are $220/pr. Also well worth it.

    http://www.crutchfield.com/
    Lots of speaker pair options at or about $200/pr.

    Good luck with your research and your selections.

    LeRoy
    Thanks LeRoy, those Mordaunt Shorts look really nice, good price too, I've booked marked them for sure. I was checking out the CA 30's you mentioned, is that price per pair or single speaker? I wasn't sure, but at $220/pair, I would consider them too. Are the Polk Rti4 or TSi100's from Cruchfield pretty good speakers? Prices on both of these are good too.

  4. #29
    IRG
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    Quote Originally Posted by thekid
    As the resident cheap bast@#rd I can tell that putting together a somewhat decent 2-channel set-up is possible with a little patience, a little luck and a little know-how. My tastes tend towards older gear and I have been fortunate to put together 2 or 3 2-channel systems in the $200-$250 range with gear from Denon-Marantz-Advent etc.

    Your local CL is a good source and so are local thrift stores. This can be a bit of a challenge if you live in a small community but the Syracuse-Ithaca area should afford some opportunities.
    I'm glad I'm not the only cheap b@astard I'll be checking out CL some more too. I was thinking of more vintage equipment, but not sure I trust the reliability of stuff that is 20-30+ years old, even if it was built better back then. But I do like some of it for sure, I just haven't had time to really research what is good and what should be avoided. Something to do soon.

  5. #30
    IRG
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    How about this: http://www.spearitsound.com/nad/C715.asp

    I like Paradigm but the Atoms don't play very low, I think only down to 100 Hz. The C715 does have a sub out for a future addition of subwoofer though.

    Yeah I think I want/need monitors that can go lower, without a sub. Maybe a sub someday, but not anytime soon. That NAD is interesting, although I think I can get a separate receiver/dvd/cd player for less, and give me a little more flexibility.

  6. #31
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    Hello IRG

    Quote Originally Posted by IRG
    Thanks LeRoy, those Mordaunt Shorts look really nice, good price too, I've booked marked them for sure. I was checking out the CA 30's you mentioned, is that price per pair or single speaker? I wasn't sure, but at $220/pair, I would consider them too. Are the Polk Rti4 or TSi100's from Cruchfield pretty good speakers? Prices on both of these are good too.
    You're welcom IRG.

    The CA 30's is priced per pair at A.A.

    I used to own a pair of Polk Rti4's for a very short while....literally 2 weeks. I took them back to Tweeters for a full refund. Count me in as one of those who don't care for Polk speakers at all. I have never heard of TSI speakers so don't know anything about them

    By the way, the CA 30's speaker are made by Mordaunt-Short for C.A. They don't sound the same though. The M.S. 902's are very dynamic, punchy, fun, lively, and musical. The 902's punked my Usher S-520's in a no contest kind of way.

    The CA30's are more of a neutral sounding speaker...refined and composed even at higher volumes, punchy deep bass but bass does not extend as much as the 902's and the highs are extended as the 902's but not quite as energetic. CA 30's are a tad smaller than the 902's and are cute in a toy looking kind of way.

    I used both speakers through my system and each can play up to that level of quality...no problem. Belles Soloist Amp/Belles Soloist Pre-Amp (Retail $2K), Musical Fidelity XRAY CDP and power supply (Retail $1.5K-2.5K), Chord Carnival Silver Screen Speaker wire 4-conductor ($185.00), Chord Cobra Interconnect ($115.00). Both speakers are quite at home with this set up.

    Both are EXCELLENT buys and sound quite remarkable for so little money. Beware that both will expose your electronics too. If you pair them with poor sounding electronics both will let you know it. Even so, if you upgrade your electronics at a later date you won't have to upgrade your speakers if you have one of these pairs.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeRoy
    You're welcom IRG.

    The CA 30's is priced per pair at A.A.

    I used to own a pair of Polk Rti4's for a very short while....literally 2 weeks. I took them back to Tweeters for a full refund. Count me in as one of those who don't care for Polk speakers at all. I have never heard of TSI speakers so don't know anything about them

    By the way, the CA 30's speaker are made by Mordaunt-Short for C.A. They don't sound the same though. The M.S. 902's are very dynamic, punchy, fun, lively, and musical. The 902's punked my Usher S-520's in a no contest kind of way.

    The CA30's are more of a neutral sounding speaker...refined and composed even at higher volumes, punchy deep bass but bass does not extend as much as the 902's and the highs are extended as the 902's but not quite as energetic. CA 30's are a tad smaller than the 902's and are cute in a toy looking kind of way.

    I used both speakers through my system and each can play up to that level of quality...no problem. Belles Soloist Amp/Belles Soloist Pre-Amp (Retail $2K), Musical Fidelity XRAY CDP and power supply (Retail $1.5K-2.5K), Chord Carnival Silver Screen Speaker wire 4-conductor ($185.00), Chord Cobra Interconnect ($115.00). Both speakers are quite at home with this set up.

    Both are EXCELLENT buys and sound quite remarkable for so little money. Beware that both will expose your electronics too. If you pair them with poor sounding electronics both will let you know it. Even so, if you upgrade your electronics at a later date you won't have to upgrade your speakers if you have one of these pairs.

    OK, either of these two speakers sound like winners, leaning towards the MS model. So is pairing them with a Yamaha amp/dvd a 'poor sounding' electronics, or will they be acceptable? Would the Onkyo or Marantz (don't know much about this model) be a better choice, and if so why?

  8. #33
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Atom

    Something to consider, if you put any stock in reviews...Stereophile said "its bass performance turned out to be one of the Atom's greatest strengths."

    http://stereophile.com/standloudspeakers/664/

  9. #34
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 02audionoob
    Something to consider, if you put any stock in reviews...Stereophile said "its bass performance turned out to be one of the Atom's greatest strengths."

    http://stereophile.com/standloudspeakers/664/
    Thats pure BS, I auditioned them at a local store that sells Paradigm and NHT. Even the salesman steered me away from the Atoms because of their lack of bass. The NHT Classic 2's blew them out of the water. The Atoms sounded weak and anemic. They need a sub.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp, Pass X-1 Preamp
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  10. #35
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    Thats pure BS, I auditioned them at a local store that sells Paradigm and NHT. Even the salesman steered me away from the Atoms because of their lack of bass. The NHT Classic 2's blew them out of the water. The Atoms sounded weak and anemic. They need a sub.
    Did I say something to offend you?

  11. #36
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Sorry Noob. I was just commenting on the Stereophile review.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp, Pass X-1 Preamp
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    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
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  12. #37
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Just checking.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by IRG
    I'm glad I'm not the only cheap b@astard I'll be checking out CL some more too. I was thinking of more vintage equipment, but not sure I trust the reliability of stuff that is 20-30+ years old, even if it was built better back then. But I do like some of it for sure, I just haven't had time to really research what is good and what should be avoided. Something to do soon.
    Reliability can be a concern when talking about receivers and amps but a good testing of them before you buy can resolve that issue. Speakers on the other hand are a different issue as there is less to go wrong there. A look at the drivers with the grills off and a quick listen will usually tell you all you need to know there. All of my current speakers in the house came via CL or Thrift stores. A list includes the following that are used for my various 2 channel set-ups. All except the Polk's and the KLH-5's which were obtained through gear swaps ran me on average a little less than $25 a pair and were ready to plug and play.

    Original Large Advents
    Dynaco-A25
    EPI-100's
    KLH-5
    KLH-17's
    Polk Monitor 10's

  14. #39
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by thekid
    Reliability can be a concern when talking about receivers and amps but a good testing of them before you buy can resolve that issue. Speakers on the other hand are a different issue as there is less to go wrong there. A look at the drivers with the grills off and a quick listen will usually tell you all you need to know there. All of my current speakers in the house came via CL or Thrift stores. A list includes the following that are used for my various 2 channel set-ups. All except the Polk's and the KLH-5's which were obtained through gear swaps ran me on average a little less than $25 a pair and were ready to plug and play.

    Original Large Advents
    Dynaco-A25
    EPI-100's
    KLH-5
    KLH-17's
    Polk Monitor 10's
    I totally agree, if I can try something out first, I wouldn't mind buying used, especially from the local shop that caters to this. Speakers in general, are less of a gamble. I was thinking ebay too, where the shipping and all can be hard on things like cd players/turntables.

    Does it make any sense at all in trying to put new 6" speakers in the JBLs I have, or will that totally muck up the sound? It would be more of a stop gap, buy a new TT/CD player, get an amp, fix the speakers, then begin upgrading one thing or another when funds suffice.

    But I like the idea of getting all new stuff better.

  15. #40
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    He's absolutely right...

    Quote Originally Posted by thekid
    Reliability can be a concern when talking about receivers and amps but a good testing of them before you buy can resolve that issue. Speakers on the other hand are a different issue as there is less to go wrong there. A look at the drivers with the grills off and a quick listen will usually tell you all you need to know there. All of my current speakers in the house came via CL or Thrift stores. A list includes the following that are used for my various 2 channel set-ups. All except the Polk's and the KLH-5's which were obtained through gear swaps ran me on average a little less than $25 a pair and were ready to plug and play.

    Original Large Advents
    Dynaco-A25
    EPI-100's
    KLH-5
    KLH-17's
    Polk Monitor 10's
    The Keed is absolutely right. All the speakers in my house come from CL or the Bay. We've both some classic stuff. Every speaker currently in use in all three home systems are used or orphan. If you don't get swept up in bidding frenzy or other stupid mania you can score great speakers on the cheap, all over.

    Worf

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worf101
    The Keed is absolutely right. All the speakers in my house come from CL or the Bay. We've both some classic stuff. Every speaker currently in use in all three home systems are used or orphan. If you don't get swept up in bidding frenzy or other stupid mania you can score great speakers on the cheap, all over.

    Worf

    CL rules! I can hardly afford what I've got now, and the only new thing I've bought is my XPA-2 power amp.

    Best Regards,
    Stan
    Listening/Movie Room: ADCOM GTP-500, XPA-2, Denon 3930ci, Front: Jamo C809; Surround: Klipsch R-5650-S; Back: R-5650-S; Denon AVR-687,. Projector: Sharp XR-32X.

    Family Room: Denon avr-687, Denon CD player, Klipsch RB-5II

  17. #42
    IRG
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    Quote Originally Posted by manlystanley
    CL rules! I can hardly afford what I've got now, and the only new thing I've bought is my XPA-2 power amp.

    Best Regards,
    Stan

    Well I did a thorough scan of 3 close by CL listings, frankly didn't see one item I was interested in - I think part of it is this is not a very affluent region, you're not as likely to see nice used gear for sale, because people by and large don't buy it new, they'll shop the Walmart specials or invest in their ipods or computers, but I'll keep looking. Worth a shot!

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    Receivers- Harmon Kardon 338o, 3480 http://www.gadgetreview.com/2009/12/...5-shipped.html
    http://techronics.com/caraudio_1303_...html?aff=72182

    Onkyo Tx 8522- http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-8522-...3235283&sr=8-1

    Cd Player Marantz cd5003 http://www.audiophileliquidator.net/...868e16b3762776

    Speakers- Energy C-300's

    http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=ENC300


    Check out www.saturdayaudio.com Look at their demo gear for sale. They have an Onkyo Integra 7.1ch receiver for $299, list was $800. They also have some Denon DVD players on sale. The Denon DVD players make for a decent CD player.
    Lotta good suggestions from all over but Blackie boils it down to the basics. Of course, looking for used items or N/OS may leave you knocking at fate's door...

    Something to keep in mind, those original Insignia speakers that caused all the stir were the product of a single, initial shipment of KEF drivers...a shipment that has never reoccured. There was quite a commotion over at AGon about it as, after the first series sold out, the quality declined drastically.

    Speaking of KEF, I'm probably the resident KEF shill...got a pair of Q7's that I use in a secondary system with an Onkyo receiver, a PC and an old Pioneer PDM423 that has uncharacteristically good DACs.

    I don't think you can go wrong with either an Onkyo or Yamaha receiver. Marantz is excellent but even the vintage units will be budget-breakers.

    Good luck and happy hunting...
    So, I broke into the palace
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    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  19. #44
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Just feel like tossing the Klipsch RB series into the mix...

    http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trk...All-Categories

  20. #45
    IRG
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    OK, quick update, and than you for all the suggestions, keep em coming!

    Here are my thoughts at the moment, liable to change at any time of course;

    Amp:
    Yamaha RX-397 (2 channel receiver, no HT) 50wpc, like the simplicity of it, gets great user reviews everywhere, likely very reliable. best price of $182 $20s/h from brandnamez.com

    Runner up: Onkyo TX-8555 more power, not really needed, reviews are quite as good, about $255.

    CD Source: Yamaha DVD-S1800 new at Amazon for $79. Was $400ish 3 years ago. Sounds like a good player for music too, and the dvd might come in handy at some point.

    To note, finding "budget" dedicated cd players is almost impossible new, I've found. Sony makes a 5 disc unit, gets horrible reviews. Otherwise, budget is $300 for NAD or more. So, a $79 unit that is also a dvd player, but gets great reviews, seems like a good move for now.

    Turntable: Denon DP-300F, $195 new at Dakmart. No other contenders at $200 or less I don't think.

    Speakers: This is the most open part, so far. The contenders so far:

    Mordaunt Short 902i, $225 from Needledoctor.com
    Cambridge Audio C30 (made by Mordaunt Short) $205 incl s/h from Brandnamez.com, or $225 from Audioadvisor.com (not sure if s/h is included, probably not)
    Polk Tsi100 $199 from Crutchfield, others.
    PSB Image B15 $250 from audioadvisor
    Paradigm Atoms, other?
    Edit, I forgot the Energy C300s, floorstanders, but they seem like a great value. I owned a pair of Energy monitors before, C30s maybe?, and they were very good.

    So I see this cost around $700+ right now, not including cables (is mtrycrafts here anymore? or speaker stands. I do have a good audio cabinet already.

    Anyother speaker suggestions? I'd rather not pair them with a subwoofer either. Thanks so much for all the good suggestions/ideas. This also doesn't take into account the 2 local shops I have yet to visit. Who knows what I'll find there, and if possible, I would rather buy local.
    Last edited by IRG; 01-12-2010 at 10:33 AM.

  21. #46
    IRG
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks
    Lotta good suggestions from all over but Blackie boils it down to the basics. Of course, looking for used items or N/OS may leave you knocking at fate's door...

    Something to keep in mind, those original Insignia speakers that caused all the stir were the product of a single, initial shipment of KEF drivers...a shipment that has never reoccured. There was quite a commotion over at AGon about it as, after the first series sold out, the quality declined drastically.

    Speaking of KEF, I'm probably the resident KEF shill...got a pair of Q7's that I use in a secondary system with an Onkyo receiver, a PC and an old Pioneer PDM423 that has uncharacteristically good DACs.

    I don't think you can go wrong with either an Onkyo or Yamaha receiver. Marantz is excellent but even the vintage units will be budget-breakers.

    Good luck and happy hunting...
    Good to know on the Insignias, I thought it might be too good to be true. As far as Kef goes, how are the Cresta 2? I saw them for sale somewhere, good price. Older pair aren't they, or are they still being made? Anything by Kef in the under $300 range I can look at?

  22. #47
    IRG
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    Talked to the local shop, wasn't thrilled with their recommendations, but worth a look I guess. But I think i can get better, and cheaper, by shopping online, even if i would prefer not doing so. Going to keep looking for some budget buys...

  23. #48
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I would jump on these NHT Classic 2's from audiogon.

    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....HT-Classic-Two

    Nice warm sounding speaker with excellent midbass.

    And here's a pair of PSB B-25's, a much better speaker than the B-15's for bass
    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....291&/PSB-Image



    Or these Vintage B&W's- http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ilkins-DM-1400

    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....3243&/B-W-610i
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp, Pass X-1 Preamp
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Hybrid Tube Preamp and Ultra Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  24. #49
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    Have you considered a speaker kit from Parts Express or Madisound? They seem to offer quite a bang for the buck and look fairly easy to put together. I'm considering the Dayton UA701 Usher 701 for my first project to learn. It seems hard to beat the drivers in the sub $300 range.

    Having said this, the Axiom M3v2 seems interesting for $330/pair.
    http://www.axiomaudio.com/m3.html

    Short of that, ebay or audiogon for used equipment. I've bought and sold on audiogon with excellent results. There are lots of people looking to upgrade, so there's always gear to be purchased!

    Living Room System

    Oppo BDP-83SE
    Apple TV
    Musical Fidelity VDAC
    Krell KAV-400xi
    Kef XQ1
    Cables from Blue Jeans Cable


    Bedroom System
    Denon D-M50S Mini System
    Mission MS50 Speakers

  25. #50
    IRG
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    I would jump on these NHT Classic 2's from audiogon.

    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....HT-Classic-Two

    Nice warm sounding speaker with excellent midbass.

    And here's a pair of PSB B-25's, a much better speaker than the B-15's for bass
    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....291&/PSB-Image



    Or these Vintage B&W's- http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ilkins-DM-1400

    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....3243&/B-W-610i
    Thanks for those links, is the NHT priced per pair? If so, that is good. The older B&W's look good too, I'm not very familiar with those models, I'll have to do some research on them.

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