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Thread: Best speakers at low volume?

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    Default Best speakers at low volume?


    Hey everyone, got an audio question for the forum...

    I really want to get a pretty decent quality surround sound experience going on in my new place, but its an apartment with pretty thin walls. And its not just a case of not wanting the cops called on me. :D My neighbor will be a good friend of mine who's a hard working student that I really don't want to disturb -- I know he'll put up with a lot without complaint but don't want him to have to.

    I'm getting a Marantz receiver in part so I can take advantage of Dolby Headphone for late night watching -- but you can't always wear headphones.

    So here's my question: Can anyone recommend good speakers for HT that still sound good at relatively low volumes? (not talking whisper here, but room-shaking is right out) I have my eye on the Energy Take Classic, but are there better alternatives?

    Budget-wise I need to keep the speaker set under 500 for now with an eye to a possible upgrade in a few months.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Apronikoff View Post
    Hey everyone, got an audio question for the forum...

    I really want to get a pretty decent quality surround sound experience going on in my new place, but its an apartment with pretty thin walls. And its not just a case of not wanting the cops called on me. :D My neighbor will be a good friend of mine who's a hard working student that I really don't want to disturb -- I know he'll put up with a lot without complaint but don't want him to have to.

    I'm getting a Marantz receiver in part so I can take advantage of Dolby Headphone for late night watching -- but you can't always wear headphones.

    So here's my question: Can anyone recommend good speakers for HT that still sound good at relatively low volumes? (not talking whisper here, but room-shaking is right out) I have my eye on the Energy Take Classic, but are there better alternatives?

    Budget-wise I need to keep the speaker set under 500 for now with an eye to a possible upgrade in a few months.
    The Energy Take Classic 5.1 setup is certainly a lot for the money. The only problem is the subwoofer....which isn't really neighbor friendly.

    I think a lot of speakers could work, if you eliminate using a sub woofer...de emphasize the bass sounds. Bass is the one element that causes the most problems in condos and apartments. A little "trick" I have employed in similiar listening environments have been to put sand in the speaker stands. You can buy it a Lowes or Home Depot. This keeps the vibrations from reaching the floor. Sanus makes some speaker stands that enable this technique to be used.

    You are spot on with value with the Energy Take Classic...but let me give you a "less noisy" alternative. You can pick up a pair of JBL Arena Speakers for $130 a pair, so $260 for 4. Grab a Polk Audio center channel...and grab some inexpensive Sanus speakers stands. When you move and want to upgrade your system. The JBL"s make great surrounds in a 7 speaker setup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedking View Post
    The Energy Take Classic 5.1 setup is certainly a lot for the money. The only problem is the subwoofer....which isn't really neighbor friendly.

    I think a lot of speakers could work, if you eliminate using a sub woofer...de emphasize the bass sounds. Bass is the one element that causes the most problems in condos and apartments. A little "trick" I have employed in similiar listening environments have been to put sand in the speaker stands. You can buy it a Lowes or Home Depot. This keeps the vibrations from reaching the floor. Sanus makes some speaker stands that enable this technique to be used.

    You are spot on with value with the Energy Take Classic...but let me give you a "less noisy" alternative. You can pick up a pair of JBL Arena Speakers for $130 a pair, so $260 for 4. Grab a Polk Audio center channel...and grab some inexpensive Sanus speakers stands. When you move and want to upgrade your system. The JBL"s make great surrounds in a 7 speaker setup.
    Awesome, thanks for the advice Speedking.

    Yeah, I figured that a sub was a no-go, so I'd been looking at the 5.0 Energy system since Amazon has it for only $200, but wasn't sure how the speakers would sound without the sub. I'll definitely take a look at your recommendations now.

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    One thing to think of is that the student might take a break here and there and watch a movie at your house -- then you might want that sub....

    Just saying if you buy from one company and in this price range you can sometimes get a sub for not much more and it might be worth considering for those days you can watch with a little more power behind...

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    So I'm thinking of possibly going a different direction. The receiver I've picked out supports Dolby PLIIz, and Joerod's review makes me really want to try it -- which means I'll need a 7.0 system. Energy doesn't sell separates, so rather than buying two sets and putting the extra three speakers in my closet, I thought I'd build a system using Polk Audio speakers.

    Here's what I was looking at:

    2 Polk R300 Towers

    Polk CSR Center Channel

    Two pair Polk R150 Bookshelf speakers

    Anyone have any thoughts? I don't know a lot about speakers, so I'm really flying by the seat of pants here...

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    Try to audition a receiver, that offers THX Loudness Plus or Audyssey DynamicEQ.

    All movie audio tracks are mixed and to be listened to at reference level. However the human ears have different sensitivity for the lows, mids and high frequencies at different audio levels. That is the reason, why often louder is actually better, because we are hearing or are closer to the correct, intended frequency balance.

    THX Loudness Plus or Audyssey DynamicEQ try to compensate for that. They boost the problematic frequencies and try to mimic the sound balance of reference level at lower listening levels. (it's not like "Night Mode" or something like this, the dynamic range remains untouched).

    These modes are based on perceptual hearing and don't work the same for everybody. That's why i recommend you audition them first, as you might not like them.

    Having these modes reduces the need for speakers, that work particularly well at low levels. You can simply focus on getting good speakers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apronikoff View Post
    So I'm thinking of possibly going a different direction. The receiver I've picked out supports Dolby PLIIz, and Joerod's review makes me really want to try it -- which means I'll need a 7.0 system. Energy doesn't sell separates, so rather than buying two sets and putting the extra three speakers in my closet, I thought I'd build a system using Polk Audio speakers.

    Here's what I was looking at:

    2 Polk R300 Towers

    Polk CSR Center Channel

    Two pair Polk R150 Bookshelf speakers

    Anyone have any thoughts? I don't know a lot about speakers, so I'm really flying by the seat of pants here...

    From a cursory examination of your selections, I would change one thing...the center channel..I'd opt for the Polk CS10..which would only cost you $20 more and is well worth it, IMO. You would get better clarity on this center..it's heavily discounted now, at this dealer(a good one too)..It's over $30 cheaper than Amazon($152.97).

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882290105

    It appears you are now thinking about the Denon 1910, a good move IMO. I'm kind of busy today, but I'll take a look at the other speakers tomorrow. At first blush, the R300's look like a great pick. At 25lbs apiece, the biggest problem is the shipping costs. I looked at some B&M stores in your area..Best Buy and HH Gregg...neither had them, to save the shipping cost.

    If you like the center channel I picked, I wouldn't sleep on that deal too long...it's a heavy discount.

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedking View Post
    From a cursory examination of your selections, I would change one thing...the center channel..I'd opt for the Polk CS10..which would only cost you $20 more and is well worth it, IMO. You would get better clarity on this center..it's heavily discounted now, at this dealer(a good one too)..It's over $30 cheaper than Amazon($152.97).

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882290105

    It appears you are now thinking about the Denon 1910, a good move IMO. I'm kind of busy today, but I'll take a look at the other speakers tomorrow. At first blush, the R300's look like a great pick. At 25lbs apiece, the biggest problem is the shipping costs. I looked at some B&M stores in your area..Best Buy and HH Gregg...neither had them, to save the shipping cost.

    If you like the center channel I picked, I wouldn't sleep on that deal too long...it's a heavy discount.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to look over all of this!

    That seems like a really good deal on the CS10, so I'll see if I can order that in the next couple of days.

    And you're right, my thinking has moved from the Marantz to the Denon 1910. Seemed like a lot more for my money and I've heard really good things about Denon all around.

    Let me know if you have any further thoughts -- your input is really appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedking View Post
    From a cursory examination of your selections, I would change one thing...the center channel..I'd opt for the Polk CS10..which would only cost you $20 more and is well worth it, IMO. You would get better clarity on this center..it's heavily discounted now, at this dealer(a good one too)..It's over $30 cheaper than Amazon($152.97).

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882290105

    It appears you are now thinking about the Denon 1910, a good move IMO. I'm kind of busy today, but I'll take a look at the other speakers tomorrow. At first blush, the R300's look like a great pick. At 25lbs apiece, the biggest problem is the shipping costs. I looked at some B&M stores in your area..Best Buy and HH Gregg...neither had them, to save the shipping cost.

    If you like the center channel I picked, I wouldn't sleep on that deal too long...it's a heavy discount.


    Like I said in my earlier post....don't sleep on the deal...the price went back up to the full price of $199....I'll find another deal on a center.....but you gotta strike fast...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Apronikoff View Post
    So I'm thinking of possibly going a different direction. The receiver I've picked out supports Dolby PLIIz, and Joerod's review makes me really want to try it -- which means I'll need a 7.0 system. Energy doesn't sell separates, so rather than buying two sets and putting the extra three speakers in my closet, I thought I'd build a system using Polk Audio speakers.

    Here's what I was looking at:

    2 Polk R300 Towers

    Polk CSR Center Channel

    Two pair Polk R150 Bookshelf speakers

    Anyone have any thoughts? I don't know a lot about speakers, so I'm really flying by the seat of pants here...

    I've had time to evaluate the speakers and I'd like to make a suggestion. The heart of your system are the front speakers and the center channel. Under the existing budget there aren't any alternatives better than the 4 R150's...the center channel is good...but I've got a better "match" below, since you missed out on the other deal. The "weak" link are the front speakers. The R300's are "okay" and given your initial budget would fit. You said you wanted to stay around $500...but I'm suggesting you increase your budget on the front speakers by $73. The 2 R300's will cost you $167 with shippping, my proposal involves a total of $240 for the fronts..

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882290013

    For an increase of $73...these speakers will outperform the 300's easily..you aren't spending your money on shipping, you are spending it on a discounted speakers. Again, if you snooze on this deal, it will be gone. The same deal from J&R Music is almost gone and they are charging shipping.

    Here is the final piece to the puzzle, with this center channel you will have your system

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...dio-_-82290022

    So you have the 4 R150's from amazon for $170.48...you have 2 Monitor 50's for $238.98 and a CS1 Center Channel for $99.99 from Newegg..
    a total of $509.45 and ZERO dollars spent on shipping...

    If you don't have the full amount now, buy the front channel speakers now, before the price is gone, next priority are the 4 R150's and then the CS1.

    That is the best value for the money, IMO.
    Last edited by speedking; 08-04-2009 at 07:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedking View Post
    Like I said in my earlier post....don't sleep on the deal...the price went back up to the full price of $199....I'll find another deal on a center.....but you gotta strike fast...
    Actually, I didn't sleep on the deal. I got one at that price...ordered last night.

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedking View Post
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16882290013

    For an increase of $73...these speakers will outperform the 300's easily..you aren't spending your money on shipping, you are spending it on a discounted speakers. Again, if you snooze on this deal, it will be gone. The same deal from J&R Music is almost gone and they are charging shipping.
    Well, thanks again for helping for helping me evaluate my speaker choices. Both parts of your advice looked great to me, so I jumped on 'em. Ordered the center last night and just now placed the order for the two fronts. Great deals on both.

    Can't wait until I can report back on how they work for me...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Apronikoff View Post
    Well, thanks again for helping for helping me evaluate my speaker choices. Both parts of your advice looked great to me, so I jumped on 'em. Ordered the center last night and just now placed the order for the two fronts. Great deals on both.

    Can't wait until I can report back on how they work for me...
    So you ordered the Monitor 50"s?

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedking View Post
    So you ordered the Monitor 50"s?
    yup

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    Quote Originally Posted by Apronikoff View Post
    yup

    Good..I feel for the investment they are well worth it...

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    Don't forget to order your speaker wire from our favorite place...MONOPRICE! Check out the banana plugs makes for a nice installation!

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    Quote Originally Posted by fvbounty View Post
    Don't forget to order your speaker wire from our favorite place...MONOPRICE! Check out the banana plugs makes for a nice installation!
    I forgot all about mentioning monoprice...thanks LCD guy...I know you were involved with salmon fishing, but here is my favorite maritime song

    http://home.pacbell.net/chabpyne/lyrics.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedking View Post
    I forgot all about mentioning monoprice...thanks LCD guy...I know you were involved with salmon fishing, but here is my favorite maritime song

    http://home.pacbell.net/chabpyne/lyrics.html
    That was a terrible tragedy, do you ever watch the "Deadliest Catch", thats one of my favorite show's and in HD....LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by fvbounty View Post
    Don't forget to order your speaker wire from our favorite place...MONOPRICE! Check out the banana plugs makes for a nice installation!
    Yup, was just pricing that out this morning.

    On the speaker wire, my best bet on the gauge is 12, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by fvbounty View Post
    That was a terrible tragedy, do you ever watch the "Deadliest Catch", thats one of my favorite show's and in HD....LOL

    You mean the show on the Discovery Channel at 9pm tonight? No I never have, I guess I should check it out.

    It was a terrible tragedy but Gordon Lightfoot did such a great job on that song, it still gives me goose bumps..especially this part..."the church bell chimed, till it rang 29 times for each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald"...I saw him sing that song in a rather small venue and it was awesome.

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