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Best low budget bookshelf speakers to buy?


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I picked up a beautiful Sony STR-V4 receiver and I would like to pair it with some Klipsch bookshelf speakers but I can't decide which ones to get!  I want bookshelves mainly due to size restrictions and budget!  I can only pony up about $250-300 right now so I have been looking at these guys:

 

RB-51ii

R-15M

KB-15 Icon

Synergy B-200

 

It looks like I am stuck at 5.25" woofers for this price range...question is, with 5.25" speakers jam pretty decent?  Is there a big difference in 6" or 8" woofers that would justify blowing the budget and pissin' the wifey off?

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1 hour ago, RocketFoot said:

I picked up a beautiful Sony STR-V4 receiver and I would like to pair it with some Klipsch bookshelf speakers but I can't decide which ones to get!  I want bookshelves mainly due to size restrictions and budget!  I can only pony up about $250-300 right now so I have been looking at these guys:

 

RB-51ii

R-15M

KB-15 Icon

Synergy B-200

 

It looks like I am stuck at 5.25" woofers for this price range...question is, with 5.25" speakers jam pretty decent?  Is there a big difference in 6" or 8" woofers that would justify blowing the budget and pissin' the wifey off?

The RP-500m review very well and are deeply discounted right now because the version "II" was just released. I'd hit up PHT @Paducah Home Theater to see what they can offer otherwise Amazon has them for $275:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-Reference-Premiere-Bookshelf-Speakers/dp/B07G39PDC2/ref=asc_df_B07G39PDC2?tag=bingshoppinga-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=80264400674228&hvnetw=o&hvqmt=e&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4583863979866807&th=1

 

 

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Don't make the mistake of tying yourself too tightly to a fixed top price.  Get the speakers you actually want and will be happy with.  If they don't fit your budget this month, put aside some money every month until you do have the money.  You want to do justice to your fine receiver, don't you?  For years, every month I've been putting aside $100, sometimes $200, into my Audio Buying account.  It adds up surprisingly quickly.  Then, when I spot a bargain I've been hoping to find, I have the cash to dash and grab it or them.  

 

Believe it or not, the least expensive way to get a good stereo, one you're really happy with, is to buy the stuff you want the first time, instead of buying something entry-level, then mid-level, then better mid-level, and maybe someday real hi-fi.  Buying gear you're not really satisfied with, and then replacing it with the next step up, and the next step up, really adds up in price.  Meanwhile, years have gone by, and the thing you wanted in the first place is now quite a bit more expensive than it was when you started.  Also, if spending money on audio gear can cause an argument, the fewer arguments, the better, right?

 

As for your lovely wifey, when she hears her favourite tune through a good system, she'll be sold.  A few dollars here or there aren't really important in the long run.  Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten.

 

What would I do in your place?  I'd be searching US Audio Mart and maybe eBay, or Kijiji, for a pair of Heresy II, or even better, Heresy III speakers.  They'll be used, because the current model is the Heresy IV, but Klipsch speakers, especially Heritage Series models, tend to be well-treated, so they may look like new.  5.25" woofers?  Heresys have 12" woofers!  They are floor-standing models, but they're pretty short and are best described as largish bookshelf speakers.  And they're made right in Hope, Arkansas, not overseas.  Right now, I have a Heresy III speaker on a stand in my system performing Rear Surround duties in a 6.2 system.  The only reason I sold my Heresy IIs is because I replaced them with La Scalas.  The guy who bought them was delighted.

 

Of course, don't forget the Garage Sale section here on the Forum, as well as the Alerts sub-section.  You never know what you'll see.  That's where I found my La Scala IIs, and it was well worth the short drive and long ferry ride to get them.

 

I should point out that Heritage speakers have that name for two reasons.  First, they were designed by Paul Klipsch himself, which is great.  Second, their quality and longevity is such that your children may be listening to them after you're gone.  The woofers are not like the common foam-surrounded models that need their surrounds replaced every 15-20 years.  Klipsch Heritage woofers use doped-paper surrounds that last indefinitely.  My oldest speakers are a pair of 1974 La Scalas.  As far as I know, the woofers are original, and they sound just fine.

 

EDIT:  I just checked US Audio Mart and got a slap of reality in the face.  Heresys have gone up in price quite a bit, used or not.  $1,000 may be a hard sell to the wife for used speakers.  However, that's this month.  Who knows what will show up next month, while your Audio Account continues to grow? 

 

It's funny how it works.  Heritage speakers depreciate for a few years, then they don't.  When I bought my first La Scalas, they were 32 years old, and I paid approximately what they had cost when they were new, back in 1974.  The Heresy IIs?  After owning them for 13 years, I sold them for a bit more than I had paid for them, which worked out to be a bargain price for the buyer, who as I mentioned was well pleased with them.

 

So there's my advice.  Good luck on your quest for great sound!

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Depending on how big is your room, small speakers will most likely not be satisfactory for you, as Islander said above.

RP160 or RP600 in the recent Klipsch offerings is the lowest I would go for a bookshelve. But then again, if you can find some of the earlier models (i.e. RB75) in good condition, that might be even better.

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On 7/7/2022 at 6:17 AM, RocketFoot said:

.. pissin' the wifey off?

There are two rules in life.

 

Rule #1: NEVER piss the wifey off.

Rule #2: Before you even TRY to piss off the wifey, refer back to Rule #1.

 

 

Get the speakers that fit your room's physical liimitations. You can always add a subwoofer which fits in a discreet location, to make up for any deficiencies in a bookshelf speaker.

 

Is there a big difference between 5.25", 6", and 8" woofers? Not really. They play A BIT lower, but not dramatically. Shoot; some even play lower than older versions of the Klipsch Heresy!

 

A small 12" subwoofer, like my SVSound SB-1000 will easily fit under an end table or tucked in a corner next to the couch, and makes up for the small woofers in bookshelf speakers. Or, if you need really small and can afford it, try the SVS micro-subwoofer.

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PSX_20220103_103645.thumb.jpg.73b949c7688b0428229e15f7ddb9bd4c.jpg

12 hours ago, Klipschtastic said:

I only paid $250 for my RP160Ms. They are ridiculously good for that price. And I say this as an Cornwall IV owner. 

combine the RP160Ms with a TubeCube (3.5wpc with 2x EL84 tubes) and this is the 'best bang for the buck' ever!

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I ended up buying a set of Sony's with a sub for now but I am on the hunt for some big boys!  There is no replacement for displacement!  The Sony's sound great in my small listening room but I like music that gives you goose pimples from the bass and crystal highs that make the hair on your neck stand up!  I'd love to get a set of Cornwall's or La Scala's but it will be a while until I can afford heritage!

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9 minutes ago, avguytx said:

I was going to mention the JBL Studio 530's whenever they run them for $240/pr shipped (reg $599)  Have a 30 day return policy.

Those are pretty cool looking!  They can be had for $329 on Amazon right now.  I really like the Sony's plus they are mated up to a Sony receiver (not that it matters) so I'll run them for a while and maybe try something else!  I still need some smaller speakers for a 5.1 in my living room that I need to upgrade so they won't go to waste!

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3 hours ago, RocketFoot said:

I ended up buying a set of Sony's with a sub for now but I am on the hunt for some big boys!  There is no replacement for displacement!  The Sony's sound great in my small listening room but I like music that gives you goose pimples from the bass and crystal highs that make the hair on your neck stand up!  I'd love to get a set of Cornwall's or La Scala's but it will be a while until I can afford heritage!

 

Just keep checking the ads and keep putting money aside every month and you may be listening to Heritage speakers in your room sooner than you’d think.

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3 hours ago, avguytx said:

I was going to mention the JBL Studio 530's whenever they run them for $240/pr shipped (reg $599)  Have a 30 day return policy.

On a similar note, for floor standers, Greg Timbers said that the 580s not the 590s are the way to go as the woofers integrate better.  He was really firm on this. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, tigerwoodKhorns said:

On a similar note, for floor standers, Greg Timbers said that the 580s not the 590s are the way to go as the woofers integrate better.  He was really firm on this. 

 

 

 

 

They both seem to get good reviews albeit the basic cabinet finish is their main downside.  Every time those 580's and 590's go on sale for $600 and $900 shipped, respectively,  I have to hide my credit card.  

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8 minutes ago, avguytx said:

 

 

They both seem to get good reviews albeit the basic cabinet finish is their main downside.  Every time those 580's and 590's go on sale for $600 and $900 shipped, respectively,  I have to hide my credit card.  

 

The Studios are tempting but too many speakers.  I just bought a pair of L7s locally.  I have 250ti's but could not resist the ugly ducking 4 way L7s. 

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12 hours ago, tigerwoodKhorns said:

 

The Studios are tempting but too many speakers.  I just bought a pair of L7s locally.  I have 250ti's but could not resist the ugly ducking 4 way L7s. 

 

I've currently just got the ads L1230's and CF-3 v1's but have listed the CF-3's as I want to try some other things; one potentially being the Studio 590's.  Or, the larger set of L1530's, which I loved back when they were new.  Missed out on a couple of killer deals over the last couple months....Vestorovic System 12a's and VMPS RM40's.  If I could have made it on a Friday, I could have had either....but I was on call and apparently people couldn't wait till the next morning.  Sheesh.

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