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best hi-fi speaker set up for under 2k

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Exactly as the title says. i already have a dac and good source etc. What i need is an amp (integrated or not idc) and a great set of speakers. What's really important to me is sound stage, good but not boomy bass, and no distortion. It doesnt have to be perfectly flat, i sometime enjoy slightly emphasized bass and treble. I currently have a pair of aktimate mini's and i can honestly say i love them to death. But i'd like something bigger for when im in the mood. the aktimates have i believe 5.5 in. woofers. I'd like something closer to 8. I was looking at a pair of Adam A8x bookshelves which i've heard great things about. I'm just trying to get an idea if i can do better for that kind of money though. I think i'm mainly looking at bookshelves because i currently don't have a big enough room for floor standers. Still feel free to throw out any set up though. I've also been curious about surround sound systems, but i don't know much of how to set up hi-fi surround sound for under 2k. SO bottom line! i needa good speaker and amp combo for under $2000. Whatever the best money can get in that price range is, i wanna know. thanks in advance OCN!
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post #2 of 27
Not sure if you're open to this, but I really don't like the mess of wires you need to deal with when setting up a hifi system.

My friend setup my dad's wifi speaker via airport express. Yes it's apple, and I'm not a big fan of them but it works great.

Here's an article you can use as a starting point:

http://arstechnica.com/hardware/reviews/2004/07/airportexpress.ars/5
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post #3 of 27
Well bookshelf speakers/passive monitors in reality will take up just as much room as floorstanders once you mount them on stands. The only real difference is you can buy taller or adjustable stands, whereas floorstanders have fixed heights.
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post #4 of 27
With that budget, find a local dealer and go and demo some stuff - anything we recommend is useless because you are buying for your ears, not ours; there is a lot available in that budget and the sound will vary quite a lot from speaker to speaker. $2000 is a lot of money to spend on something you've never heard before, would you buy a car that you've never driven?

It's well worth investing the time it takes to demo speakers and discover what you like or dislike, make sure you take some music along that you are familiar with.
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post #5 of 27
the adams you mentioned are very nice, and you will not need an amp for those of course

anyway

what people consider best is obviously subjective, but here are some brands worth looking at that have many affordable and great options -

speakers:
ascend acoustics
aperion audio
psb
nht
svsound
infinity (p362/pc250/pc350/p162/p152 models)
energy (rc if you can find them or when the cf/cc series goes on sale which is pretty often)
monitor audio
yamaha (soavo series)
many others worth looking at as well

subwoofers:
rythmik audio
svsound
hsu research
elemental designs
epik subwoofers
emotiva (when on sale)

any ~$500 receiver from onkyo, yamaha, pioneer, marantz, or denon would be fine as well. i would recommend getting one that is rated to drive 4-ohm speakers as well as having preouts in case you wanted to add a new amp somewhere down the road.
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post #6 of 27
First order of business: will these be used for music listening or home theater? This plays a huge role in selecting a sub and amp.
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorb;13464985 
any ~$500 receiver from onkyo, yamaha, pioneer, marantz, or denon would be fine as well. i would recommend getting one that is rated to drive 4-ohm speakers as well as having preouts in case you wanted to add a new amp somewhere down the road.

A stereo amp would be much better value for money in a stereo setup.
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post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tUDJ;13465077 
A stereo amp would be much better value for money in a stereo setup.

Depends on the speakers really, and if he wants a sub. If he's just going 2ch, music only listening then a 2ch power amp would probably suit him best - you'll get the most power that way. If it's going to be used for HT I would look at integrated receivers.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tUDJ;13465077 
A stereo amp would be much better value for money in a stereo setup.

He never said it was going to be strictly stereo, but I'd still disagree with you.

It's currently OOS, but newegg has the Onkyo TX-NR708 for $550.

Here are measurements of a lower end model, the SR608, which isn't even 4-ohm certified:
http://www.hometheater.com/content/onkyo-tx-sr608-av-receiver-ht-labs-measures

Stereo numbers:
Quote:
This graph shows that the TX-SR608’s left channel, from CD input to speaker output with two channels driving 8-ohm loads, reaches 0.1 percent distortion at 129.6 watts and 1 percent distortion at 146.7 watts. Into 4 ohms, the amplifier reaches 0.1 percent distortion at 210.9 watts and 1 percent distortion at 224.8 watts.

Of course, there are many other features that make a modern surround receiver worth getting:
HD audio support
Bass management
Room correction algorithms like audyssey/ypao/arc/mcacc depending on what you buy
Video inputs
Video processing/upconversion
Networking if available

Compare that to an Onkyo A-9555 integrated amp ($434 on amazon)
stereo only
no video inputs

http://www.stereophile.com/content/onkyo-9555-integrated-amplifier-measurements
Quote:
Defining clipping as 1% THD, the A-9555 comfortably exceeded its rated power, clipping at 110Wpc into 8 ohms (20.4dBW), 175Wpc into 4 ohms (19.4dBW), and, with one channel driven rather than two, 245W into 2 ohms (17.9dBW) (footnote 1).
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post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
woah! thanks a lot guys, good info so far. Few things ill add, these will be for music listening 95% of the time, so lets focus on that. Also everything will most likely be run out of my computer unless anyone has some serious objection? And the reason i was shying away from floor standers isnt because of their physical size, but the fact you need to be further away from them when listening. thanks!
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