Best starter/budget towers?

D

Dim3nsion

Enthusiast
Looking for opinions and suggestions. I'd like to get a pair of towers, probably not doing a center due to my room layout and what I'm stuck working with. May add one down the road one day.


Just want a good started setup that will sound nice. Will be used for TV/Movies/Games/Music, wanting the best option for mixed use.

Receiver - Denon x1500h
Sub - Most likely buying the HSU VTF-2 MK-5
Towers - This is where I am looking for suggestions. I have ran across so many and cannot decide. I'd like to stay about $800 or preferably less.

Emotiva T1 or T2 - had been considering these, but not sure on the 4ohm and pushing my receiver too hard
Polk S60 - Can get a set of refurbs for around $620. Friend has the old S50s and loves them
Canton GLE 490s - Cant find much on these, just saw in another thread they were decent
Monitor Audio Bronze 5 - Found a used set for about $450, not sure what shipping would run
PSB Alpha T20 - These were mentioned, dont know anything about them
JBL 590 - Another that was mentioned
KEF Q500 - Found a used set for about $730 shipped, dont know anything about these
Wharfdale Diamond 10.7 - $599 a set, no idea on these either, just heard Wharfdale is good
Chane A2.4 - These were recommended, but I cant find them anywhere


Thanks for any input you can provide
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
I would be looking at some Klipsch RP-280s in that price range. Also some Fluance Signature Three-Way Towers. From your list, if you can get the JBL Studio 590s within your budget, than do so. Canton, PSB, Monitor Audio, and KEF are also solid brands. If you see the Infinity Reference series towers within your price range, consider those as well. But with such a good subwoofer, I think you should consider bookshelf speakers too. Take a look at some Revel M16s or Outlaw Audio BLSv2s. You can also get some Hsu CCB-8s, those are relatively powerful bookshelf speakers, and you can get a discount on them if you buy them in a package with the VTF-2.
 
D

Dim3nsion

Enthusiast
Thans
I would be looking at some Klipsch RP-280s in that price range. Also some Fluance Signature Three-Way Towers. From your list, if you can get the JBL Studio 590s within your budget, than do so. Canton, PSB, Monitor Audio, and KEF are also solid brands. If you see the Infinity Reference series towers within your price range, consider those as well. But with such a good subwoofer, I think you should consider bookshelf speakers too. Take a look at some Revel M16s or Outlaw Audio BLSv2s. You can also get some Hsu CCB-8s, those are relatively powerful bookshelf speakers, and you can get a discount on them if you buy them in a package with the VTF-2.
Yeah, I meant to edit my post. Those 590s are like $600 ea, think I thought a pair haha. I’ll check out those you mentioned. I can’t do bookshelves unless I mount to sides above tv due to location or put them on stands. Just figured towers would look better and give more sound. I’m new to all this though.

Thanks for the info.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Thans


Yeah, I meant to edit my post. Those 590s are like $600 ea, think I thought a pair haha. I’ll check out those you mentioned. I can’t do bookshelves unless I mount to sides above tv due to location or put them on stands. Just figured towers would look better and give more sound. I’m new to all this though.

Thanks for the info.
Towers don't 'give more sound' unless you really throttle them. If you are into really high loudness levels, than maybe a tower is a better fit. If you don't anticipate listening at high loudness levels, than they don't have any advantage over a bookshelf speaker, so long as a subwoofer is in use.
 
D

Dim3nsion

Enthusiast
Towers don't 'give more sound' unless you really throttle them. If you are into really high loudness levels, than maybe a tower is a better fit. If you don't anticipate listening at high loudness levels, than they don't have any advantage over a bookshelf speaker, so long as a subwoofer is in use.
Gotcha, maybe I’ll look more into bookshelves with stands then. I’d looked at some previously and then went back to towers, but might get more for my money the bookshelf route. Just not sure I can do a center now and someone said for the phantom center towers worked better. Hopefully I can somehow add a center down the road
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Samurai
I really like my VTF2 subs. It’s true you won’t need towers with that sub.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Gotcha, maybe I’ll look more into bookshelves with stands then. I’d looked at some previously and then went back to towers, but might get more for my money the bookshelf route. Just not sure I can do a center now and someone said for the phantom center towers worked better. Hopefully I can somehow add a center down the road
Phantom center towers don't work better than a real center. The reason for a center is that if the listener is closer to the left or right speaker, the soundstage totally collapses toward the speaker closest to them. So if you are seated somewhat closer to the left speaker, most pf the content sounds like its coming from the left side. Pretty much the only way to get a true 'phantom center' effect is to be seated at a point equally distant from the speakers, so neither is significantly closer to the listener. That way things sound like they are happening where they are supposed to at any point between the speakers and sometimes even outside the speaker's placement angle.

One exception to this is the use of 'time-intensity trading' and that requires the use of relatively narrow directivity speakers. This is a way to get a center image without a center speaker even when not seated at a point equidistant between the speakers. But it requires speakers that don't shoot sound out at a wide angle, so only certain speakers can pull this trick off. Klipsch speakers should be able to do this, the JBL Studio 500 series should work, the Hsu CCB-8 speakers work for this, in fact they were engineered specifically to do this. If you are interested in how this technique works, you can read about it in the lower part of this page in the Audioholics Hsu CCB-8 review.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Spartan
Gotcha, maybe I’ll look more into bookshelves with stands then. I’d looked at some previously and then went back to towers, but might get more for my money the bookshelf route. Just not sure I can do a center now and someone said for the phantom center towers worked better. Hopefully I can somehow add a center down the road
Another way to look at it is you might be able to get the next step up (higher quality) in a series going with bookshelf over towers. I started out that way then added towers down the road when funds were available. Some of the money spent on towers is going into the cabinet and extra drivers where with a bookshelf it can go to higher quality drivers and electronics.
 
D

Dim3nsion

Enthusiast
This is the layout I’m stuck working with and why it’s difficult. Also there are no studs above that tv. The studs are at the far edges of the fireplace. Had to mount plywood and then the tv mount to plywood. Kinda makes me running a center if I wallmounted L/R complicated. Or well I can’t attach the files from phone as they’re too large.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
Thans


Yeah, I meant to edit my post. Those 590s are like $600 ea, think I thought a pair haha. I’ll check out those you mentioned. I can’t do bookshelves unless I mount to sides above tv due to location or put them on stands. Just figured towers would look better and give more sound. I’m new to all this though.

Thanks for the info.
The 590s at $600 are a decent deal, altho I got mine for $450 each, they retailed for $1k each.....larger towers might be better in larger rooms than smaller speakers, my 590s in my big room are better than the Sierra-1s I used before (and those work nicely in my smaller bedroom).
 
D

Dim3nsion

Enthusiast
The 590s at $600 are a decent deal, altho I got mine for $450 each, they retailed for $1k each.....larger towers might be better in larger rooms than smaller speakers, my 590s in my big room are better than the Sierra-1s I used before (and those work nicely in my smaller bedroom).
I've seen alot of good feedback on those. Havent found any that cheap though. $600 each is a bit too much for me on my first set and really so is $450 ea. Need to find something a little lower budget
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
I've seen alot of good feedback on those. Havent found any that cheap though. $600 each is a bit too much for me on my first set and really so is $450 ea. Need to find something a little lower budget
Might look at the JBL 580 instead, it has been known to go on pretty good sales occasionally like the 590 (I also have a pair of 580s I use as surrounds). Last sale price I noticed was $330 each (got mine for $518 the pair delivered).
 
D

Dim3nsion

Enthusiast
Might look at the JBL 580 instead, it has been known to go on pretty good sales occasionally like the 590 (I also have a pair of 580s I use as surrounds). Last sale price I noticed was $330 each (got mine for $518 the pair delivered).
Thats a good price on them. Looks like JBL has them $350 ea for Refurbs
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Samurai
You did say “best”. Just to add on to Pogre’s suggestion on a high end bookshelf since you are thinking a quality sub like HSU VTF2, one I can recommend is the Canton Vento. The 826 is on sale 50% off at accessories4less.com for a little under $800/pr shipped. No tax.

Good luck. :)
 
D

Dim3nsion

Enthusiast
I would take a hard look at them --- the Studio 5 series is good
You did say “best”. Just to add on to Pogre’s suggestion on a high end bookshelf since you are thinking a quality sub like HSU VTF2, one I can recommend is the Canton Vento. The 826 is on sale 50% off at accessories4less.com for a little under $800/pr shipped. No tax.

Good luck. :)

Dang more choices, lol. Those are nice

Ok let’s do a poll

Klipsch RP280F
JBL 580
HSU CCB-8
Canton Vento 826
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Dang more choices, lol. Those are nice

Ok let’s do a poll

Klipsch RP280F
JBL 580
HSU CCB-8
Canton Vento 826
One decision you have to make is: how much do you care about non-primary listening area? It looks like you have one good listening position that is in front of the TV. The seat next to it can get decent imaging if you have controlled directivity speakers i.e., Hsu, Klipsch, or JBL Studio 500s. But at far angles, like way to the right of the seating position, they might not sound like much. A wider dispersion speaker might be able to cover more seating in that room, but you sacrifice imaging entirely for all seating except the primary listening position.
 
D

Dim3nsion

Enthusiast
One decision you have to make is: how much do you care about non-primary listening area? It looks like you have one good listening position that is in front of the TV. The seat next to it can get decent imaging if you have controlled directivity speakers i.e., Hsu, Klipsch, or JBL Studio 500s. But at far angles, like way to the right of the seating position, they might not sound like much. A wider dispersion speaker might be able to cover more seating in that room, but you sacrifice imaging entirely for all seating except the primary listening position.

Yeah, I wish I had a better option for the tv. Anyone on the love seat or even farthest left end of the couch doesn’t get the best angle either. That far right seat is going to be the best. I might be better off finding something that is wide dispersion, but then have to find some totally different options. I want to say screw the other seats, because that’s going to be my spot, but i suppose I should want decent sound from each spot.
 
D

Dim3nsion

Enthusiast
One decision you have to make is: how much do you care about non-primary listening area? It looks like you have one good listening position that is in front of the TV. The seat next to it can get decent imaging if you have controlled directivity speakers i.e., Hsu, Klipsch, or JBL Studio 500s. But at far angles, like way to the right of the seating position, they might not sound like much. A wider dispersion speaker might be able to cover more seating in that room, but you sacrifice imaging entirely for all seating except the primary listening position.

Also, I was thinking and could probably find some type of shelf that I could mount to drop down below the tv for a center. If I could find a decent one low profile enough. I know they make way to attach to the vesa or whatever. Probably not right now depending on what I spend for L/R, but that may be a way I can run a center
 

newsletter
  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
Top