Good sound doesn't have to be expensive

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Good sound doesn't have to be expensive

Postposted on Sun May 31, 2009 11:05 pm

I was thinking about getting some outdoor speakers for the side of my house. I was at a discount store a couple of days ago and spotted some indoor/outdoor speakers made by GE. The GE MA20557 speakers to be exact, for only 20 bucks! I'm not sure if they have been discontinued, I cant find them anywhere online. Anyway, I thought, "GE" and "20 dollars", they probably sound awful, but I couldn't resist trying them for only 20 bucks. Tonight I hooked them up to my receiver and pointed them out the windows in front of my house, turned them way up, wen't outside, and WOW! Even with the volume turned up, they aren't loud enough to blow you away, but loud enough to stand 50 yards back and still hear them clearly. For a sealed enclosure, they had decent bass, the mid's and high's were very sharp and clear, and I could hear each instrument with excellent clarity, and the singer I could understand and hear very clearly. I guess normally these speakers go for about 40 to 50 dollars, but we're lowered to 20 and put on the sale rack for some reason. Next project will be mounting them on the side of my house with the included mounting brackets. I'm still a little confused why these cheap speakers sound clearer, not louder, but clearer than my Bose Accoustimass home theater speakers do.
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Re: Good sound doesn't have to be expensive

Postposted on Sun May 31, 2009 11:27 pm

Most of the GE branded stuff is sourced out of China by a company called Jasco Products. You can sometimes get lucky with house branded goods and speakers are no exception. If the OEM is trying to get a foot in the door at Jasco they just might put together a very competitive system,a nd of course it'll cost peanuts. This model seems to be a 3-way design.

The reason it sounds clearer than the Bose is that the Bose is eq'd out the wazoo. Input the NY Philharmonic and the output might sound like a high school marching band.

If you really like them you should pick up some more as these things are always sold as one-time production runs. And you can never have enough speakers.

Edit: They look like the original Optimus Minimus 7, although that was a 2-way design.
Last edited by sluggo on Sun May 31, 2009 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Good sound doesn't have to be expensive

Postposted on Sun May 31, 2009 11:31 pm

Best Buy's $80 in house Insignia speakers are rather famous for their sound quality at the price marked. So yeah, not so shocking another set is out there that has such qualities.

Sounding better than your Bose system... well that isn't surprising...
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Re: Good sound doesn't have to be expensive

Postposted on Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:29 am

That's good to know about the trying to get their foot in the door and be competitive. I feel like I got a really good deal. I hooked them up to a different amp and they actually are pretty dang loud, comparable to my Bose system. I have a Denon home theater receiver powering them now, and have them set on the B speaker selector switch, A being my primary indoor speakers. They say they only handle about 40 watts RMS per speakers, and my receiver outputs about 75 watts per channel, not sure if that's RMS or total on the receiver. My nearest neighbor is about a mile and a half away, so I'm not too worried about testing them tonight, although I need to call it quits because it's dark outside now. I just hope the 100 degree weather this summer doesn't damage them.
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Re: Good sound doesn't have to be expensive

Postposted on Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:59 am

Speakers designed to be used outdoors won't be bothered by heat. (That is, as is found to be naturally occurring.) Sound quality may change, but that is the case with all speakers in any kind of environment.

I've never really bothered figuring out what numbers the marketing department chose to label on a receiver, but unless it says 75W RMS I'd bet that it's 75W peak. 'Cause, ya know, moar is bedar.
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Re: Good sound doesn't have to be expensive

Postposted on Mon Jun 01, 2009 8:46 am

Usually, RMS is rated at 50% of max power. Speakers often rate both RMS and max, while receivers usually just rate the max.

I just recently got these for my deck - their power ratings are a little unrealistic/overkill, but they sound real nice. They even have some bass, though you lose it pretty quick with distance. (due to being outside, not a shortcoming of the speakers)


Now I just have to improve my "remote" situation - I've got an ubuntu box in the basement hooked up to an old receiver, which streams music off my main machine in the laundry room, and I control it over ssh with my laptop! Part of me wants to just route them through the main amp, so I can use my remote, but another part of me likes using 3 machines and my LAN to get the music outside :)

Speaking of which, I need to wash them - they've been outside for 3 weeks, and they're already dirty.
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Re: Good sound doesn't have to be expensive

Postposted on Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:06 am

The wonders of cheap Chinese Communist labor! :D
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