Opinions on cheapish bookshelf speakers

The place to sound off on all things related to audio, from sound cards to speakers.

Moderator: Captain Ned

Opinions on cheapish bookshelf speakers

Postposted on Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:13 pm

My cousin gave me a Gizmo V1.0M Amp ( http://tweakcityaudio.com/index.php?pag ... t&Itemid=1 ) with the following specs:

Output Connections: L/R channel speakers ; Subwoofer out (RCA connection)
Power Rating: 25WPC x 2 @ 4 ohms
Class D amplifier
Voltage: 110V/220V
Shipping weight: 7 lbs (approx)
Dimensions: 8"D x 2.5"H x 4.5"W
Additional Features:
• Digital Display
• Separate Bass and Treble Controls
• Subwoofer out
• Rosewood cap
• True 100 Hz crossover built-in
• Volume +/-, Mute, Standby and Bass/Treble controls


I know nothing about speakers and am hoping to get your help on choosing the best bookshelf speakers for less than $150. They will be used with the Gizmo on my HTPC for mp3 files and blu ray movies. I've done some searching on these forums and google and found a lot of recommendations for the Swan D1080MkII $125 ( http://www.theaudioinsider.com/product_ ... cts_id/113 ). What do you guys think?
yeahboyee
Gerbil
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2009 1:36 pm

Re: Opinions on cheapish bookshelf speakers

Postposted on Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:31 pm

Well if you capable of putting a screw in a hole without punching into the speakers surround I would go with these from parts express. Requires a bit of assembly, nothing difficult. Dayton BR-1 6-1/2" 2-Way Monitor Kit Pair

Your little amp wants a 4 ohm load and these are 8 ohm, so the amp's not going to put out full power but it will sound better with the lighter load. I suspect it will still sound plenty loud.

For anyone looking at the Gizmo, I wouldn't recommend buying it.

edit: that swan setup is self-powered, meaning there would be no need for your little amp.

edit: Sorry the Dayton kit requires soldering, not for the average assembler. If you had someone to help you it would be the best sounding.
Increase your half open TCIP connections with the Half-open.com utility.
eric93se
Graphmaster Gerbil
 
Posts: 1263
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:31 pm
Location: Home of the most reprehensible false flag attack in the world.

Re: Opinions on cheapish bookshelf speakers

Postposted on Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:33 am

As eric93 notes, the Swan pair are self-powered, which exceeds your requirements. Basically, just look around for a pair of speakers in your price range that offer the following specs:

1) 4-Ohm nominal impedance
2) Nominal efficiency rating of 90dB or better

You can connect 6-Ohm or 8-Ohm speakers to this amp but as eric93 noted, your average power will be halved. And the reason for (2) is that sound output from a speaker is not an absolute function of power, even though many people think about it that way. It is a relative function of the amplifier output power and the driver's efficiency at converting it to sound. Every 3dB represents a doubling power requirements, so for example, a 93dB-rated speaker system with 12.5W power input will produce as much sound as a 90-dB rated system with 25W, or an 87-dB rated system with 50W. The manufacturers still find ways to rate their units optimistically, but it's better than buying blind.

Something like this might be adequate for your needs. Alternately, periodically search eBay or Craigslist for "Polk" and "Infinity" and you should turn up a couple decent pairs of bookshelf speakers every week. Look over the units for any age/UV damage to the foam woofer surrounds as this can be repaired by any decent audio shop but will probably add $50 to your final acquisition price.
He who laughs last, laughs first next time.
ludi
Gerbil Elder
 
Posts: 5484
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2002 10:47 pm
Location: Sunny Colorado front range

Re: Opinions on cheapish bookshelf speakers

Postposted on Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:53 am

eric93se wrote:Well if you capable of putting a screw in a hole without punching into the speakers surround I would go with these from parts express. Requires a bit of assembly, nothing difficult. Dayton BR-1 6-1/2" 2-Way Monitor Kit Pair

Your little amp wants a 4 ohm load and these are 8 ohm, so the amp's not going to put out full power but it will sound better with the lighter load. I suspect it will still sound plenty loud.

For anyone looking at the Gizmo, I wouldn't recommend buying it.

edit: that swan setup is self-powered, meaning there would be no need for your little amp.

edit: Sorry the Dayton kit requires soldering, not for the average assembler. If you had someone to help you it would be the best sounding.
Soldering's easy enough. A few minutes of practice and he'd probably be OK to go.

What's the payoff like with DIY speakers and speaker kits anyway? How much of it is a decent value proposition and how much is purely hobbiest enjoyment? Haven't really researched speaker design too much.
...
mattsteg
Gerbil God
 
Posts: 15761
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Applauding the new/old variable width forums

Re: Opinions on cheapish bookshelf speakers

Postposted on Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:08 pm

Building/designing you own speaker is very rewarding. What we get in most factory setups is cheap crossover components and ultra cheap stamped framed drivers with a terrible response (ripple, falloff, off axis response). If you open up some towers or bookshelf speakers you can sometimes get an idea of the quality and the model number which will reveal the $3-10 quality.

Speaker building theory isn't difficult but does require some reading, there are some good books out there. Off the top of my head I can reccomend "the loudspeaker cookbook" its classic. It can get much more involved when it comes to crossover design, since its much more than just selecting frequencies to which driver but also the 'shape' of the sound as well. If any of you were to get into speaker building/design I would reccomend starting with a MTM (midrange-tweeter-midrange) design or WTW, and the Linkwitz-Reilly crossover design.
Increase your half open TCIP connections with the Half-open.com utility.
eric93se
Graphmaster Gerbil
 
Posts: 1263
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:31 pm
Location: Home of the most reprehensible false flag attack in the world.

Re: Opinions on cheapish bookshelf speakers

Postposted on Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:26 pm

Get on Craigs List and find some nice used ones. Make sure the seller will allow you to audition them. A good pair of speakers will last a very long time.

Boston Acoustics made some seriously good bookshelf speakers earlier in the decade, the HD series and CR series. Finding a used pair in good condition will be very rewarding.
"No I don't want the Ask toolbar! No I don't want Bing as my default search! No I don't want to make Chrome my default browser!"
"Good grief, man! WHAT are you trying to install on that poor computer?"
"Antivirus."
kvndoom
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2417
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2004 11:47 pm
Location: Communistwealth of Virginia

Re: Opinions on cheapish bookshelf speakers

Postposted on Mon Aug 03, 2009 3:22 pm

Get either the Behringer 2031p or 2030p studio monitors. Hands down the best speaker for your budget.

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-Ultra-L ... 802&sr=8-2

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-Ultra-L ... 92&sr=8-14
Computers and OS's are tools, not religions. Use the best tool for the job.
jinjuku
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 330
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2003 10:05 am
Location: Louisville

Re: Opinions on cheapish bookshelf speakers

Postposted on Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:02 pm

**Moved to Echo Vale**
mac_h8r1.postCount++;
Chaos reigns within. Reflect, repent, and reboot. Order shall return.
Slivovitz owns you.
mac_h8r1
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
 
Posts: 2962
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2002 6:57 pm
Location: Alpha Epsilon Pi for life

Re: Opinions on cheapish bookshelf speakers

Postposted on Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:47 pm

jinjuku wrote:Get either the Behringer 2031p or 2030p studio monitors. Hands down the best speaker for your budget.

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-Ultra-L ... 802&sr=8-2

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-Ultra-L ... 92&sr=8-14

Of what little of Behringer's stuff I've used, it's always been pretty good. Too bad these aren't active - I could use a good pair of monitors. Of course, that's probably just a dream at this point. :lol:
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate, I do.
derFunkenstein
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 21546
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2003 9:13 pm
Location: WHAT?


Return to Echo Vale

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests