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sohels
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Budget system for <$300

Hello, this is going to be my first good sound system. I'm currently looking at two possible routes - either getting a pair of active/powered speakers or getting an amp + speakers.

For the first option, I'm looking at the Audioengine 5 speakers which seem to have excellent reviews. For the second option I'm looking at Pioneer Elite A35r + Polk Audio Monitor 50 or Sony SSF-5/6/7000 floorstanding speakers.

I absolutely cannot extend my budget beyond $350. All suggestions are welcome and will be much appreciated. I subscribed to the Stereophile digital magazine and although I really enjoyed reading the latest issue, nothing much was within budget.

linden518
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Re: Budget system for <$300

My vote is for the Audioengine 5s. You'll really enjoy them while saving up for an integrated amp and speakers down the line. Can't lose.

soundboy
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Re: Budget system for <$300

Go with the Pioneer Elite A-35R integrated amp and then look at some Athena Technologies speakers on Audio Advisors' website. You should be able to put together an excellent sounding system for under $350.00.

sohels
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Re: Budget system for <$300

Thanks for the responses. I guess there's support for both approaches. I'd really appreciate input from someone who's tried both and can describe why they choose one over the other. The Athena speakers look good - which particular model do you recommend?

dbowker
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Re: Budget system for <$300

Make sure to check out Audiogon for either speakers or amps. Great used deals will get you in under your budget.

Rotel amps, PSB speakers, maybe some Epos speakers.

sohels
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Re: Budget system for <$300

Has anyone tried these : http://www.angelfire.com/biz/bizzyb/AURALECSTASY.html

For $169 shipped, they seem like a good bargain. Which particular Rotel amp do you suggest? Athena, Rotel, Epos - I know very little about these brands, so model numbers will be helpful.

There are so many choices and most of them have satisfied users - this is very bewildering for a first time buyer. Is there any particular speaker/amp that is generally agreed upon as the best in my price range? I do not have the funds or time to go in for regular changes/upgrades. For me its important that I get it right the first time.

soundboy
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Re: Budget system for <$300

Athena is part of API, which also manufactures Energy and Mirage speakers. Last year, Klipsch purchased API and I am afraid it looks like Klipsch is doing away with the Athena brand (I have no proof of this other than a gut feeling).

Audio Advisors is currently clearing out its Athena stock. I would look into something such as this Athena floorstanding speaker for your system. The LS series was supposed to be Athena's upscale models, but I don't think Klipsch promoted it at all.

dbowker
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Re: Budget system for <$300

Try the Epos ELS3 speakers. They got great reviews from just about every audio mag on the planet- all said best for the money and I think they fit your budget.

jackfish
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Re: Budget system for <$300

Those Athenas for $200 a pair are well worth the money. At $400 a pair I thought there were other better choices, but at half that you can't find much better. They do produce very satisfying bass.

The actual specs on the Athena LS-300 are:
Design 6 1/2" 2-Way Curved Cabinet
Shielded Floorstanding Speaker
Power Handling 200 Watt
Woofer 6 1/2" Composite Fiberglas

sohels
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Re: Budget system for <$300

The Athena LS-300 from audioadvisor.com have a $51 shipping cost which would leave me < $100 for the amp. I have read good things about the Sonic Impact T-amp gen 2 which sells for $50. Would this be a good combination?

On the other hand, the LS-100 is $120 shipped for a pair and would allow me to spend more on the amp. What would be the better option?

jackfish
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Re: Budget system for &lt;$300

I would get the Athena LS-300 loudspeakers for $250.98 delivered and get the underrated Sherwood RX-4105 for $88 delivered. When you are pinching pennies you'll usually notice more difference in the loudspeakers than in receiver/amp.

http://www.sherwoodusa.com/prod_rx4105.html

sohels
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Re: Budget system for &lt;$300

I just realized that I forgot to mention the size of the room - its a small 11 X 9 feet room (its a dorm) and the distance between me and the speakers will be about 8 feet. Would floorstanding speakers be able to perform well in the limited space? If not, which from the following would you recommend - KEF iq1, Athena LS-100 or PSB alpha B1?

jackfish
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Re: Budget system for &lt;$300


Quote:
Would floorstanding speakers be able to perform well in the limited space?

Yes

bifcake
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Re: Budget system for &lt;$300


Quote:
I just realized that I forgot to mention the size of the room - its a small 11 X 9 feet room (its a dorm) and the distance between me and the speakers will be about 8 feet. Would floorstanding speakers be able to perform well in the limited space? If not, which from the following would you recommend - KEF iq1, Athena LS-100 or PSB alpha B1?

I think you should consider getting a headphone set an a headphone amp. I think your $300 will go much, much further with regard to sound fidelity.

jackfish
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Re: Budget system for &lt;$300

What if a friend visits? Particularly a friend desired to be relaxed and comfortable.

sohels, I forgot to ask what is your source?

soundberry
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Re: Budget system for &lt;$300

I don't know how easy to find out where you live but:
Trevi 3520 50 euro
Tprogress f2l 150 euro
Mordaunt Short 902 200 euro

It's for me the minimum about true hifi.

sohels
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Re: Budget system for &lt;$300

My source will be an iPhone. I have an Apple dock with line out so I'll be using that. Occasionally I will also be using my suite mate's Airport Express if I play music through my laptop (its a Macbook, if that helps). I believe that the Macbook has a decent headphone out, when compared to most laptops - so I might use that when the AE is not available.

Ideally I'd want to keep the setup simple (hence my original interest in the Audioengine 5).

Wags
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Re: Budget system for &lt;$300

I've been pushing the Audioengine 5's to my sis, who has a truly crappy system in her living room and still hauls her CD's around on trips to play through a Walkman. For her birthday I got her her first iPod (Nano) and spent some time ripping her CD's on to her laptop to show her how easy it all was.

So today I tracked down a local source for the 5's since I hadn't actually heard them, but had been relying on reviews (which all seem to be positive). They had a pair set up so I brought in my iTouch to play through them, being familiar with what's on it and how it sounded through my home system. I liked them so much I ended up buying a pair to use upstairs in my bedroom.

Good bang for the buck, and when you decide to set up something better you'll still find a good use for them.

sohels
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Re: Budget system for &lt;$300

Ok I came across a used pair of Audioengine 5 in excellent condition. I bought them for $230 shipped.

Thanks a lot to everyone who replied. I really appreciate the advice I got.

Wags
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Re: Budget system for &lt;$300

Good find, $100 savings. Let us know how they work out.

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