Speaker suggestions

Sol

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I just purchased a new TV, and because the new set has 3D and DNLA I also updated my AV receiver at the same time to one which will handle HDMI 1.4. This leaves me with a spare 40" TV and Onkyo TX-SR606 receiver that I figured I'd stick in my bedroom. What it doesn't leave me with is any speakers to attach to the receiver, and my knowledge of speakers and audio equipment is vanishingly small.

My idea so far is to get a nice pair of bookshelf speakers with a good range and just use them in stereo (Maybe bi-amped, purely because I can, and it's 2 less channels going to "waste"). My problem is I have no idea what to look for when it comes to finding a nice pair of speakers.

So any suggestions on a good set of stereo speakers for gaming, tv, and movies? Or even just hints on what I should be looking for? I'll probably end up getting them from here since they're close and relatively inexpensive. The budget is flexible but I'd ideally want to keep it under 300 pounds (And I suspect I could come well under without really noticing much difference).
 

Mercutio

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I'm of the opinion that nice speakers are made by Brits. But we'd need to have some idea of a budget to offer recommendations.

When I got around to updating the system for my bedroom, I got on Ebay and managed to find a full set of Kef's budget-line Q-series speakers for a total of $700 including all the shipping. I thought that was a freaking bargain, though I understand that buying speakers without hearing them first is something of a gamble.
 

Handruin

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I'm of the opinion that nice speakers are made by Brits. But we'd need to have some idea of a budget to offer recommendations.

When I got around to updating the system for my bedroom, I got on Ebay and managed to find a full set of Kef's budget-line Q-series speakers for a total of $700 including all the shipping. I thought that was a freaking bargain, though I understand that buying speakers without hearing them first is something of a gamble.

Sol mentioned a budget of under 300 pounds (under $500 USD).
 

Sol

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Yeah, 300 pounds was the budget, not the weight limit... ;P For some reason the only times I ever need the pound symbol I'll be typing on the one US keyboard I have (There are 6 functional keyboards in arms reach and another one about a step away, but this is the one computer that's on...).

I could probably stretch a bit on the budget if there was a really good deal a bit beyond that, but I'm not really an audiophile so I'm not sure I'd ever notice the difference between $400 speakers and $700 speakers, and these are just going in my bedroom.

I'm actually only really prepared to pay that much because I figure if I get nice speakers now I can always swap out the front speakers in my surround setup (Mordaunt-Short MS302s) if I'm not using them where they are.
 

Handruin

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What size room will these speakers be in? Do you want to consider a sub woofer in your budget? Do you have room for a sub to fill out the bottom end of the sound?
 

Sol

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Not really considering a sub more due to space constraints than cost, the room is about 3mx4m, so it's pretty small.

I took a walk down to Richer sounds this afternoon and listened to a couple of different pairs of speakers and ended up blowing my budget (which I'd half expected to) and my size expectations by getting a pair of Mordaunt Short Avino 6 floor standing speakers. In the end the bookshelf speakers I liked were so large that they wouldn't have fitted next to the TV and would have had to be in front or behind (Depending on whether you like sound or picture better I guess) and by the time I put them on stands they'd have taken up more space than the floor standing speakers anyway.

I can still take these back if I'm not impressed by them after a week or so but I suspect that with my limited experience with great sounding speakers, there probably aren't a pair of ~$1k speakers on the planet which would fail to impress me.
 

LunarMist

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I have a similar problem, wanting two speakers, but no place to put them along side or in front of the TV. They have to fit below the TV in a 11.5x26.5" space. I am currently using some inexpensive bookshelf speakers raised up from the floor, but they are smaller than I'd like. The problem is that the tower speakers I see online are too tall.
 

CougTek

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I understand in-wall speakers, but in-ceiling, nope. Why do you want something that'll sound good only when you're below it instead of anywhere in the room?
 

ddrueding

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I understand in-wall speakers, but in-ceiling, nope. Why do you want something that'll sound good only when you're below it instead of anywhere in the room?

They are aimed at an angle, not straight down. The problem is that the screen and seating area are in the middle of a larger space, with no walls nearby to put them.
 

LunarMist

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Maybe you could hang the speakers from the ceiling with wires. :)
 

LunarMist

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A $1000 in-ceiling speaker sounds like what in comparison to a standing floor speaker?
 

ddrueding

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No idea. Perhaps 20% worse? Just a guess. Like Sol, I am very far from an audiophile. Spending that much on a pair of speakers (actually, I need 3 pairs for the surround system - doubling up the center channel), guarantees that it is as good as I could possibly appreciate.
 

LunarMist

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The peak of my audio interests was in the late 60s to the early 80s. I had all sorts of equipment, probably 10-12 tape recorders including the big 10 1/2" TEACs, Revox, Sonys, etc., and various turntables including a home-built 16" one. I used a lot of SAE, Marantz, and Sansui pre-amps, amps, and receivers, plus early Dolby and later dbx NR equipment. Back then there was a wide variety of speakers including what would now be larger than bookshelf speakers, but smaller than floor-standing speakers. It seems that so many of the speakers today are built to be used for 5.1 or 7.1 home theatre (basically TV) rather than music, so they are undersized and don't have the neutral, low bass without the damned separate sub-woofers. I just want a mid-sized, full-range pair of speakers with maybe 8" reflex woofers in a decent, non-boomy enclosure, but they don't seem to exist, or not at a sane price. :(
 

Handruin

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A $1000 in-ceiling speaker sounds like what in comparison to a standing floor speaker?

I'm guessing it's like comparing apples to oranges. Having a set of speakers that are focused in front of you will provide a different experience than having the sound come from above you. You're also at the mercy of the space in the ceiling and the lack of cabinet space. I would use in-ceiling speakers for general purpose listening (kitchen/deck/etc) and I wouldn't spend $1000 on them. I'd use that money to get a nice pair of floor-standing or stand-mounted speakers.
 

ddrueding

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I'd use that money to get a nice pair of floor-standing or stand-mounted speakers.

Clearly that is the optimal solution, however since that isn't an option (the space doesn't accommodate it, the wife wouldn't like it) the ceiling will have to do.
 

Handruin

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Clearly that is the optimal solution, however since that isn't an option (the space doesn't accommodate it, the wife wouldn't like it) the ceiling will have to do.

I understand that it can be a hard sell to the wife/significant other especially when having limited space. If you don't have room for them, then what about in-wall speakers vs in-ceiling? I would take that as an alternative to in-ceiling speakers if your room allows for it.
 

ddrueding

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As would I, but the space doesn't allow for it. The projector screen is surrounded by floor to ceiling cabinetry that I am not allowed reallocate. As the time gets closer, I may decide that it is worth the political hit to make it happen.
 

Handruin

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That sounds like a tough location to put a home theater. Can you put the projector and potential new speakers somewhere else and make that space for a simpler setup?
 

ddrueding

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Nope. We have a small house, and the "home theater" is little more than a really nice "tv" in the living room. Other than bedrooms (which I can't use), there is only one big room.
 
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Handruin

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Nope. We have a small house, and the "home theater" is little more than a really nice "tv" in the living room. Other than bedrooms (which I can't use), there is only one big room.

OK, here's what you need to do. :) Cut three holes in the floor. One on the left, center, and right. Add a motorized tray to raise and lower floor speakers into your living room. Done. ;-)
 

timwhit

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OK, here's what you need to do. :) Cut three holes in the floor. One on the left, center, and right. Add a motorized tray to raise and lower floor speakers into your living room. Done. ;-)

That would be sweet as hell. When I was a teenager I built a pulley in my bedroom to raise and lower my surround speakers. I used nylon drapery cord, which is high gauge, but quite strong.
 

Howell

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The speaker stand will have to telescope to get to ear level as there is only 18" below the floor. We can do it!
 

ddrueding

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Didn't I already mention that I don't have a basement ;)

I could have them drop down from the ceiling, though. My bed was on a pulley system to the ceiling when I was a kid (got the idea from "An American in Paris").
 

BingBangBop

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Didn't I already mention that I don't have a basement ;)
That's a good thing for you wouldn't want people hitting their heads on the speaker. You've got at least 18in for a crawl space and if you need more space then dig a hole under the house big enough for the raising assembly and speaker. Don't forget to add a waterproof lining so water can't get at anything.
 

LunarMist

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That would be sweet as hell. When I was a teenager I built a pulley in my bedroom to raise and lower my surround speakers. I used nylon drapery cord, which is high gauge, but quite strong.

Raise them how, up in the air from the ceiling? When I was a teenager they just developed the quadraphonic sound. :) There was hardly any content to buy though.
 

Mercutio

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Genius SW-G2.1 are a 2.1 + control module set of computer speakers that cost $50 or so. I got a couple sets for use in my classrooms and I really can't believe how nice they sound.

They look retarded but they sound better than a lot of computer speaker sets that cost three times as much.
 

LunarMist

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Yesterday I heard a home theatre setup with five in-ceiling speakers and a subterranean woofer. The directionality of the sound was weird to say the least. The speakers in the bedroom were Ok for the background music, etc.
 

ddrueding

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I'm getting closer and closer to changing my mind on that. The surround will have to still be in the ceiling, but the front three and woofer will be built into the cabinetry somehow.
 
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