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Bookshelf Speaker Choices ($100-$200 per pair)


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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 21, 2012 7:13:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 21, 2012 7:18:00 PM PDT
Jonathan,
You're right about the cost of the Integra Receiver. That was my only purchase of a used audio product from the Internet (no listening experience). I bought the unit almost two years ago in that range. No doubt, the Integra's have some great features - bass EQ was the one the steered me in that direction. Loads of current was a nice factor too. Glad your purchase worked out well.

Buying used without testing the equipment is a gamble, but I'm guessing the vast majority of the equipment is in good shape. It would be a major benefit to hear the product before buying if there is any question as to that aspect of performance - how it sounds. That might sound pretty dumb, but I believe that (unlike speakers) modern controllers and receivers are far less likely to produce a sound that isn't appreciated. Checking reviews online for operational and feature issues helps too. On the other hand, if spending a large sum of money for speakers, then listening is definitely pretty important.

Though my last three speaker purchases were done online with no prior instance of hearing them, they were new products and could be returned with little fuss. I didn't save much money, but then again - consider the price range. Polk Monitors, Polk Lsi, and Axiom. If I were spending at a level where I couldn't return or resell easily, then I would definitly be more cautious.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 21, 2012 11:40:02 PM PDT
Depending on one's patience, it's possible to snag a product at a good price (with at least some demand), test it out, and then resell it only at the cost of shipping. When it comes to buying blind, it comes down to whether it is possible to do a fair comparison between two or more speakers. Usually, it isn't, because the dealers don't carry both products you're interested. I'm a believer that room acoustics, gear "synergy", and perhaps even your mood, amongst other things, affect how you hear a speaker at any given time, so listening to that brand new speaker in the dealer's treated showroom, with the dealer's McIntosh amps, isn't going to exactly tell you whether the speakers are truly right for you. But still, it lets you feel good about your purchase, so it's a disadvantage there in buying online, blind, but not that much of one, in my opinion.

I went through several amps, switching them in and out, and reselling, until I arrived at what I have now, which to be honest isn't even the best amp I've owned, but it's a balance (the Proceed was too heavy). I definitely did lose money through these transactions, but it was what I needed to feed my compulsiveness when it came to audio. I can't imagine how it would have been possible doing A/B comparisons with these amps new, even if we overlook the fact that each amp would have cost between 2-5 times as much (that's right, the Proceed I bought for around $1400 would have cost over $6000 new when the brand was still around).

I'm so happy that I didn't just walk into the nearest dealer, have him sell me a Denon receiver, or even slightly higher-end, a Rotel amp/preamp combo. The Rotel amp, one of my first purchases from Audiogon, sounded grainy like there's a curtain over the speakers. Is this the "warm" British sound that got all the acclaim? But other British brands certainly do not sound like that. So many people assume that Rotel is a gateway into the high-end, but they were not for me. (Elizier is going to try to tell me the amp I purchased was broken hahaha...)

The Integra, on the other hand, I've done tons of research on. I had a NAD M15 that in my opinion sounded "better", and I was convinced of that even before the purchase. The Integra, however, together with Audyssey, evened out bass response, and it was the only preamp less than $4000 that had the HDMI connections and functionality that I needed. I did not want to spend what was needed for the NAD M15HD or Classe SSP-800, and the Cary and cheaper NAD units all had popping issues that I deemed unacceptable. The Integra was the only thing that fit the bill, and I must have read every single review on the internet before I made my purchase. I knew that I wanted the DHC-80.2, not the DHC-80.1, because it had Audyssey MultEQ XT32, and the newer DHC-80.3 only excelled in 3D and 4K upscaling, which I don't need because I have a separate video processor.

As long as the sound quality was reasonable, there were no other possible units in existence that's a contender, as far as I'm concerned (Emotiva, I've read, have their fair share of problems).

The Magnolia dealer I've been to before I discovered Audiogon tried hard to push me a Vienna speaker model and Sonus Faber Cremona bookshelves. They also played the Monitor Audio Silver. I have a feeling the average buyer will probably visit 1-2 dealers before they buy; if that's true, does that truly count as an informed purchase? I easily found 10 times the speaker lines looking online that I never knew about. One could read comparisons by other reviewers. And while nothing substitutes your own hands-on experience, is the alternative, choosing out of a couple products depending on which salesman is assigned to you, necessarily better?

In any case, I agree that buying without testing is a gamble. Buying without a reasonable selection is another kind of gamble. Some gambles are worth making. I suppose if a dealer has a reasonable return policy, and you have reasonable trunk space, you could buy an entire system for testing without too much hassle as well. In my case, buying a bunch of $1000 amps from a dealer (never mind $6000) for a demo was simply too expensive.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 7:14:47 AM PDT
"Elizier is going to try to tell me the amp I purchased was broken hahaha..."

You are extremely weird. And you can't spel gud.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2012 11:49:05 PM PDT
Are you that bored? You can keep calling me names and voting down my posts to your little heart's content, but I hope you're having fun. Otherwise, I don't see what you're trying to accomplish...

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 9:04:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 23, 2012 10:26:55 PM PDT
I lost track. What name did I just call you?

I don't bother with voting down your screeds, but maybe someone didn't think your latest 747-word missive added anything to the discussion of Bookshelf Speaker Choices ($100-$200 per pair).

"I don't see what you're trying to accomplish... " Obviously. It is that I am not going to try to tell you the amp you purchased was broken.

Hahaha...

You really are extremely weird. And you can't spel gud. If you are going to make pointless comments about me, you are required by Amazon to spell my name right.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 4:38:46 PM PDT
You counted?

Posted on Apr 23, 2012 8:48:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 23, 2012 9:02:53 PM PDT
Mr. Jumps says:
Although I do still think that Bose products sound awful, I am inclined to agree with EP and others that buying used may not be the best option for everyone. To me there is alot of risk involved with a used purchase, since alot can go wrong, especially if they are mistreated. The speakers would have to be marked down a tremendous amount to justify. Contrary to what alot of people assert, speakers can deteriorate, especially ones that undergo alot of excursion.(For this reason it is sometimes better to have speakers with less sensitivity). Often they still function, but suboptimal. Crossover circuitry sometimes also poops out. One advantage of some newer speakers is that they use materials that degrade less than older speakers.

Speakers prices for certain brands fluctuate. If you monitor the prices you will eventually get a good deal. I got the klipsch Klipsch RC-64 II center channel for 860$ 2 or three years ago. Now its priced at 1399 Klipsch RC-64 II Reference Series Center Channel Loudspeaker - Each (Black)

Will it come down again in price again? Definitely.

A current example is the Mirage OS3-FS Omnipolar Tower Speaker currently on sale at world wide stereo for 240 dollars. Its an ideal hometheatre speaker if having a slender L & R is what you are after. I dont mind larger speakers so probably not for me, but these have ok comppnents in them. A good purchase for 480. How much would someone have to reduce the price to sell me used, 200 for a pair maybe?

I have an emotiva xp3 3 channel amp. I never made any comparison between it and another amp so uncertain as to whether another would sound better. What type of problems are they rumored to have JC? When I look inside its hard to imagine it giving up the ghost to0 easily, the thing is a tank.

With regard to bookshelf speakers, how much to pay should depend on what their intended use will be. If they will serve as L&R fronts in a system then its probably good idea to put a little bit of money in them. If they are to be used as rear channel then a cheaper speaker will serve as well as an expensive one. For my 3 rears I use infinity primus (6.5"). I have switched more expensive ones in to assess, but the difference was negligible. So primus (70$) in the rear for me.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 23, 2012 10:29:36 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 23, 2012 10:40:29 PM PDT
"Although I do still think that Bose products sound awful ..."

No one has mentioned Bose speakers before, so who are you addressing that to, Mr. Jumps?

******

Those are interesting considerations about buying used speakers that have deteriorated. Thanks.
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Discussion in:  Speakers forum
Participants:  12
Total posts:  58
Initial post:  Feb 9, 2011
Latest post:  Apr 23, 2012

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