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  1. #1

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    Default audio noob seeking advice on speaker choice

    I've been collecting vinyl for a couple of years now and finally decided to put together a decent system for listening to them.

    I'm trying to stay under a thousand dollars and so far I've bought a Music Hall MMF 2.2 record player along with a Harman Kardon HK 3390 receiver.

    Basically I want to know what you guys think would be best for me. I'm sort of overwhelmed at this point at the endless system variations that are possible and I'm trying to keep it simple for now.

    I've been looking mostly at Polk Audio and I'm looking to spend somewhere between $200 and $400 on a pair of speakers. I've looked at bookshelf speakers as well as floorstanding speakers and I'm unclear on if I will need to pair a subwoofer with them.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Vintage Polks are an option in that price range and can deliver fantastic two-channel performance. I've owned and listened to the SDA CRS+ and RTA 12B - very, very nice sounding within that rough price range. You can also get some larger SDA for that type of money. Just some options.

    Two Channel Setup:

    Speakers: Wharfedale Opus 2-3
    Integrated Amp: Jolida JD1502
    DAC: Arcam irDac
    Source: iMac
    Remote Control: iPad Mini

    3.2 Home Theater Setup:

    Fronts: Polk LSiM 703s
    Center: Polk LSiM 703
    Subs: SVS PB 12 NSD X 2
    AVR: Yamaha Aventage RX-A2030
    Blu Ray: Sony BDP-S790
    TV Source: DirecTV Genie

  3. #3

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    WELCOME TO CLUB POLK!!

    You can probably pick up some SDA-2As, 2Bs, or even a set of SDA-1Cs for that kind of cash. And that HK will probably drive the first set, maybe even the 1Cs? You wouldn't need a sub with either of those VINTAGE Polk's (used market).

    A set of Monitor 10s...I think there are some in the FleaMarket right now? Also do not need a sub for the most part.

    As for current model Polks. Try the Polk ebay site and see what's there for under 400....it's possible you might be able to pick up some LSI-7s (a very nice bookshelf)-might need to run a sub with those. But they'll sparkle above 60hz.

    Try to listen to some of this if you can!

    cnh

  4. #4

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    There's a pair of SDA-2As in the flea market for $200.

    Do you think those would make for a decent 2 channel set-up?

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    Also, what do you think of bookshelves like the TSi200s? They'd be a bit more easy to manage because of their smaller size, how much would I be sacrificing in SQ?

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    Welcome to CP! I have a pair of SDA 2A's and I love them for 2 channel. Clean sound with serious thumpage, I don't think you'll need a sub! There are inexpensive tweaks available that will significantly improve their sound (if you like tweaking things).

    Enjoy the journey!
    Dual 1229/Grado Gold/Rotel RCD1070/RC995/RB980BX/Pioneer 7100/Denon DRM710/Monster HTS3600MKII/PolkAudio SDA2B/TL's

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    What do you guys think of the LSi7s?

    They're fairly cheap from Polk Direct...would I have any trouble driving them with my HK 3390?

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    Very Sweet little speaker when helped with a nice small sub.
    Latter you can mod them to bring them into a whole new class.
    Keep in mind that your HK may not drive them to ear bleeding levels. The LSi's really shine with a decent amp.
    I would like some 9's or 7's someday.
    Ben
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
    Ben

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    I don't really care to listen to anything THAT loud.

    Thanks for the reply.

    P.S. Love the sig!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ben62670 View Post
    The LSi's really shine with a decent amp.
    Like say the PSW 111?

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    Some good speakers at really good prices in this flea market thread! $400.00-$75.00/pr. + shipping

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?t=109591

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    Yes...a PSW111 would do fine. (A MicroPro 1000/2000 even better). I am currently running a set of LSi-7s off the bigger brother HK 3490 and I would say they could use even more power. But they'd probably sound OK on the 3390 as well. It's just that with more and better power they rise to another level. Then there are the 'upgrades' Ben refers to--mine are stock so I can't say I've heard modified 7s or 9s?

    But these are sweet speakers for 'music'.

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 11-22-2010 at 06:50 PM.

  13. #13

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    Can I add to this set-up with amps or pre-amps to better drive them, or would I need a better receiver? As you can see I'm extremely new to the world of audio.

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    Hey, why, why can't I start my own thread, I do feel bad about cutting in again...
    Okay. I once drempt of owning a pair of sda srs speakers 1.2's or, not. My dad owned a pair when I was younger & music sounded wonderful played on them. They are a bit pricey & I live in an apt. so couldn't play them. However, I wish to own them as a memory sort of thing, like collecting a rare museam piece.., my old polk friend from childhood. They would also look amazing in my music room
    Ya see, women can also get excited about big speakers with lots of sexy woofers, woof!
    Does anyone now of another huge-------speaker with many drivers that I could look to buy& I have searched a lot & most are wildly priced. The rti-12 is next to best thing but, a bit pricey too & harder to find.Since, I live in an apt. & listen to 98% of music through headphones, its more of a wow factor thing that I want, like some men wanting a car that goes 180 when he only drives it stoplight to stoplight! Now, I saw a white van type speaker on amazon & overstock once that was like 300.00 slashed from 2500.00 (yea right) likely bad sounding but in glossy , piano black look & were really big with several drivers.It would make a statement look wise that I seek..if, they're solid & not cheap looking (in person) So, does anyone know of some speakes I should glance? Oh, fluance has a narrow tower with lots of small yellow drivers that looks cool as does mirage (too pricey) but, the fluance seemed wimpy in size compared to the rti-12 sda's... thanx!

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmic_American View Post
    Can I add to this set-up with amps or pre-amps to better drive them, or would I need a better receiver? As you can see I'm extremely new to the world of audio.
    Depends on what you want to spend. HK stereo receivers do have pre-outs so you can use them as a pre-amp if you want. However, if you go with the 3390...it does put out 100 watts/channel at 4 ohms so as Ben says above...it will drive the LSI-7s just not to ear-bleeding levels. You might be happy with that for a while since you already seem to have the receiver?

    And though a dedicated pre-amp is best, the HK would do OK as a pre-amp for a good power amp and you could upgrade it later. One step at time.

    cnh

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    I just purchased a pair of Monitor 7's for $65 on CL. They've been well taken care of and sound nice with most anything I've played through them. The bass is a bit lacking, but a small sub will correct that issue. I also have a pair of Dahlquist DQM-9c's I bought new in 1985. They are probably the finest speaker I've ever owned and will be with me for many years to come. If you're looking for "vintage" keep an eye out for the large Advents. They're plentiful and can be had for a modest price.

  17. #17

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    Thanks for your help, CNH

    I keep flip flopping b/w SDAs and LSis, mainly worried about the size of the SDA line, but the more I read about their sound the more I think they'd be my best bet for 2 channel music listening.

    Looks like I could get some of the smaller SDA CRS speakers, on the cheap too. Think I may be heading that direction.

    Would a sub be necessary with the CRSs?

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    SDA-CRS speakers are pretty efficient. I have not heard that model. But it is the one with the two tweeters. Most prefer the next generation, the SDA CRS+ that has just one tweeter.

    In any case that would work with your amp. The CRS are a 6 ohm speaker with a 91db efficiency according to the Polk literature. And have a maximum output of 114 db which is plenty loud. Basically two tweeters (one of which I'm pretty sure is a dimensional effect tweeter), two 6.5 laminate midranges and a 10" passive radiator on the back.

    I'd say give it a listen and see what you think?

    cnh

  19. #19

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    Don't really have a way to give these a listen...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmic_American View Post
    Also, what do you think of bookshelves like the TSi200s? They'd be a bit more easy to manage because of their smaller size, how much would I be sacrificing in SQ?
    I would go for Monitor series instead as it is a better bang for the buck.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmic_American View Post
    What do you guys think of the LSi7s?

    They're fairly cheap from Polk Direct...would I have any trouble driving them with my HK 3390?
    IMO, that might be a little to much to drive for the HK 3390.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmic_American View Post
    Like say the PSW 111?
    The PSW505 would be a better bang for the buck, IMO the 5050 is more musical. The PSW111 also has more failure/repair issues than the 505 that I know of...

    Quote Originally Posted by gdb View Post
    Some good speakers at really good prices in this flea market thread! $400.00-$75.00/pr. + shipping

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?t=109591
    If the Monitor 40s aren't spoken for it might be a good deal for you since you seem to prefer bookshelf however, at their pricing I personally wouldn't pass on the Monitor 70s deals lately. You can almost live withouth a sub if they are only for music.

    BTW, welcome to Club Polk and good shopping
    TK

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    I'm willing to spend a good bit more than what the monitor 40s are going for.

    Would the RTi A3s be a good bookshelf for music and my HK?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmic_American View Post
    I'm willing to spend a good bit more than what the monitor 40s are going for.

    Would the RTi A3s be a good bookshelf for music and my HK?
    Great for HT but not so good for music... However, I don't think there would be any issues pairing the HK and RTis.

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    This could be just the ticket for you with the $90 off per speaker promo code, but it must be done by tonight! Many people on this ofrum have these towers, and I've heard plenty of good things about them. They're efficient, too, so your current receiver shuld be just fine driving them.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882290209
    - Jeremy

    Amps: Jolida FX-10, NAD 3045, NAD C320BEE, Sansui G-9700
    Speakers: Polk Monitor 7A's, KEF Reference 104aB
    Sources: ProJect Debut Carbon, Sonos streaming FLAC

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmic_American View Post
    I'm willing to spend a good bit more than what the monitor 40s are going for.

    Would the RTi A3s be a good bookshelf for music and my HK?
    The RTi series is waaay too bright for music in my opinion; good for home theater though.
    - Jeremy

    Amps: Jolida FX-10, NAD 3045, NAD C320BEE, Sansui G-9700
    Speakers: Polk Monitor 7A's, KEF Reference 104aB
    Sources: ProJect Debut Carbon, Sonos streaming FLAC

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zitro View Post
    The RTi series is waaay too bright for music in my opinion; good for home theater though.
    How about turning the lights down when playing music then?

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    I started looking at other brands of bookshelves in the $200-500, I don't really want to spend more than 400 unless its really worth it. Wanted to see if anyone has had any experience with any of the following:

    Energy CB-20
    Epos ELS-3
    Usher S-520
    PBS Alpha B1
    Ascend CBM 170

    I'm open to suggestions for any other bookshelf speakers I should consider, if it makes a difference I listen to mostly older music, both CD and vinyl, country/jazz/rock/folk/blues etc. with a slight preference towards acoustic music (a lot of bluegrass)

    Also I'm probably going to upgrade my reciever to the HK3480 to give whichever speakers I decide on some more oomph.

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    I've heard the Epos and they are a fantastic sounding speaker on any acoustic material. They have small drivers though, and you really need a subwoofer to get a full-range feel, so that's something to consider. However, outside of their lower register shortcomings, they are an excellent speaker. Sound a lot "bigger" than they are.
    - Jeremy

    Amps: Jolida FX-10, NAD 3045, NAD C320BEE, Sansui G-9700
    Speakers: Polk Monitor 7A's, KEF Reference 104aB
    Sources: ProJect Debut Carbon, Sonos streaming FLAC

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    I'm going to suggest Dynaco A-25s (only once). But availability and price and listening to them before you buy, etc., etc. - could be a problem.

    But for musicality you shouldn't need a sub to go with these and for your musical tastes they should be fine - and your HK will push them no problemo.

    -- wayne --
    Yamaha RX-V2700, EMI 711As (front), RCA K-16 (rear), Magnavox Console (Center & TV Stand), Sony SMP-N200 media streamer, Dual 1249 TT =--- Sharp Aquas 60" LCD tellie

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmic_American View Post
    I'm willing to spend a good bit more than what the monitor 40s are going for.

    Would the RTi A3s be a good bookshelf for music and my HK?
    Well, I actually owned the RTiA3s - and I thought they did a great job at HT and a really good job for music given its price point from Polk Ebay (refurb).

    Coupled with an HK (rumored to be 'warm' by other internet experts), a pair of RTiA3s would be a really good value.

    ymmv,
    Erik

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

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    I have a pair of RTI-A3s as well. I've run them on the higher model Receiver from HK (for a while) and they sound fine....though they actually sound a bit 'warmer' on my Denon AVR if you can believe that? Go figure....? Synergy?

    I'll tell you what sounds really good on an HK stereo receiver, IMO. A set of Energy RC-10s....hard to come by unless bought used, now. But you really need to give your list a 'listen', if possible. Different equipment and speakers are 'fickle'. Example, I had a set of RTI-4s I ran on an HK 3490....did not like the sound in a larger room. I moved them to my smaller bedroom with an AVR NOT considered warm, an Onkyo 604 with a small 8" sub. All of a sudden they were like a totally different speaker...they behaved themselves. I left them there and am quite happy with their HT performance in a 2.1 system. They even sound better for music in that room--with an ONKYO of all things??

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 11-26-2010 at 03:51 PM.

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