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Sound system research and purchase assistance ... advice welcomed and quite needed!!!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I am looking for some advice and help. I like to research a lot before I buy anything. Any and all advice you give will be MUCH appreciated. I want to apologize ahead of time for my ignorance when it comes to audio equipment. I really know next to nothing about audio or audio equipment.


My situation:

I live in Florida and go to school in Chicago. I will be back up in Chicago starting August 20th. That means I have about 73 days to do the research and make the purchases.

I want a quality system, but I am not looking for anything top-notch. I just want decent performance for a moderate price. Basically I want bang-for-buck. I don't see the need to spend $200 on speakers and $200 on a receiver when something for much less can still give me great quality sound if I buy used.


The goal:



I was told that it is a good idea to buy used. Supposedly there are a lot of older speakers, subwoofers, and receivers that will deliver excellent sound for a fraction of the cost of new and modern stuff. Where should I be looking for used audio equipment? I know that to get a good deal you have to do a lot of hunting and waiting. It is like fishing. You need patience to catch the big one. So far I know of several places that I can stalk for good deals and they are E-bay, Craigslist, accessories4less, Goodwill, and Salvation Army. Any other ones?


Factoring in Shipping Costs from FL to IL



If I buy anything in Florida I will have to ship via Fedex to Chicago which is extra cost. Therefore ideally I should buy my parts in Chicago. However if there are some excellent local deals I think I can fork over some $$$ to ship it up North.

That is why I am researching early. We can get together a list of potential parts I can buy and then when I go back up to Chicago I can purchase them.

What I have so far...

I have been talking with Mygaffer who recommended me the Boston Acoustics CR 9. I found a pair for $60, but I have not bought them yet. Does anybody have an opinion on the CR9s?








Secondly my friend in Florida has an old Kenswood subwoofer (KS-303HT) that he is willing to give away for free. It is like a decade old, but he swears that it sounds good. However he might not have any of the cables, but I assume I can just buy the cables if need be. However I have no idea what cables I would need to buy. Therefore I took a few pictures of the subwoofer. So what I am asking is:

1) Is it any good?

2) If it is good I would need to purchase cables. However I have no idea which cables. Therefore I included some pictures hoping that you could tell me. I mean I assume there are generic cables that work pretty much with any sub. Am I assuming correctly?









============================================




TLDR version:

  • I leave from Florida to Chicago in 73 days. If I buy anything while in Florida I will have to pay to ship it up to Chicago. Shipping costs have to be factored in any purchase while in Florida.
  • I want bang-for-buck. I am not looking for audiophile quality, but I don't want things that sound like ****. I know that it is possible to get a relatively good sound system with a relatively low $$$ investment.
  • I will mainly play hip-hop and Rap at parties. I want a crisp sounding base. However I also want power, but sound clarity is first priority.
  • I am not sure what my budget is. Some people say you have to spend like $200 to get a good reciever while others tell me that you can pick a quality used one for like $50-$80. People tell me that they have picked up real good subwoofers for like $50. So I am not sure exactly what the price ranges are.
  • I found a pair of Boston Acoustic CR9 speakers in Florida for $60. Are they worth it with the cost to ship?
  • Is my friend's subwoofer any good?

Edited by Joksta - 6/8/11 at 11:04am
post #2 of 19
Thread Starter 
up
post #3 of 19
Bump, not up. Anyways, budget?
Edited by HybridCore - 6/7/11 at 3:00pm
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post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
There I edited the thread. It should be more clear now what I want.
post #5 of 19
For a receiver, I would go with Denon, Marantz, Yamaha, and Onkyo (they aren't in my favor anymore but some have good units. I've decided to play it safe and get something else). FYI Marantz is Denon's sister company. For speakers, I would go with Energy's CF/CB series. Those speakers are all in the same family overall. Just CB for bookshelf and CF for tower. The NHT SuperZero 2.0s are also a great set of speakers. They're unpowered though but that shouldn't be a problem since the receiver should take care of it. The AudioEngine A2 and A5 are also great speakers. They're both powered so you don't need a receiver for them. Emotiva makes some great subs that aren't too expensive.
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Trinity
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post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
I want to shop used though ... i don't want to shell our like $200 just on speakers alone and the Energy CF series look very expensive >.< ... for receivers do you have any specific suggestions from those brands?
Edited by Joksta - 6/8/11 at 6:36am
post #7 of 19
I have no idea about the subwoofer, but I do know that Kenwood usually manufactures more budget lined AV equipment. They aren't necessarily bad.

With your budget, you should take anything you can get for free.

With your budget, you should look at powered speakers. These are speakers that don't require a receiver to run.
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post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by youra6 View Post
I have no idea about the subwoofer, but I do know that Kenwood usually manufactures more budget lined AV equipment. They aren't necessarily bad.

With your budget, you should take anything you can get for free.

With your budget, you should look at powered speakers. These are speakers that don't require a receiver to run.
Not necessarily. Unpowered speakers just need to be powered. That's the amp's job (a receiver has an amp in it). Also, I don't think this guy needs a receiver even if he gets unpowered speakers. For sound quality, I would get one. Anyways, most of the subwoofers I know are powered which means they have an amplifying unit in it.
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Trinity
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post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
I am not saying that I do not have some money to spend. I mean I definitely want to buy something that will deliver relatively good sound. However from what I understand I can shop used and get some really good deals. What I want is some advice on what to get.

For example with a 5 minute Craigslist search I found several receivers. I don't know if they are any good, but I found them.



1) Sony Multi Channel AV Receiver $75

2) Sony strde485 - $60


edit: here are two more

Denon DRA-395 80w Receiver - $50 (Downtown Orlando)



and

Denon AVR-1905 AV Receiver (Surround Sound Unit) - $95 (Kissimmee)


Edited by Joksta - 6/8/11 at 1:25pm
post #10 of 19
Sony isn't really a big name in receivers as far as I know. Since your needs are mostly music, I would say get a Denon or Marantz.
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Trinity
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PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair CX430 NZXT Source 220 Logitech Click! Mouse SteelSeries QcK Mini Diablo III Edition 
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