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Speaker Upgrade Advice

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It's that time of year where I'm getting the itch to upgrade, and I'm thinking my speakers are the next logical area of focus - setup below:

Pro-Ject Debut III, 2M Blue > Budgie Phono Pre > Marantz SR-63 > 2 x Polk Audio RTi A1

 

I've had the Polks for years and don't have a ton to spend, but I'm wondering if anyone out there has any recommendations on a pair of speakers ideally under $500 (for now) that they've been happy with? I've been considering front-ported speakers because I'm in a small apartment at the moment, but I woudn't say I've been sold on solely that feature. My Marantz puts out ~70W per channel so most  4/8 ohm speakers will work. 

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You have to ask yourself a few questions. Firstly do you want to go second hand or not? You will get a lot more mileage in the second hand market but I really doubt you will get much better than what you already have for a $500 new speaker budget. You would need to double that budget IMO to make it worthwhile and to really hear a big improvement, and even then, it will depend on what speakers you get as many are not good bang for buck.


Second thing to ask yourself is what kind of a speaker do you want? You have bookshelves currently, do you want bookshelves again or are you looking for floor standers? 

 

My honest answer is to wait and save up a bit more, say at least another $300 to $500 to get yourself into the sub $1000 area and then look second hand for better value (although brand new at this price has some great speakers). Also go listen to some speakers and see which house sound you like best. You will probably be shopping in the B&W, Kef, Q Acoustics, Klipsch, Monitor Audio, Dynaudio range at that mark and they all sound different to one another. Best to know which house sound is most preferable for you and then look second hand within that brand (although this doesn't always work as there can be some variation within a brands sound).

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mostly agree with the above.  $500 puts you toward the bottom of a lot of the typical midrange selections.

 

My personal upgrade path went from some Polk Monitor 70s to a pair of Monitor Audio RX1s that I got new on clearance for around $500.  From there I moved to a pair of Monitor Audio RX8s that I found used on Craig’s List for $750.  

 

There are a lot of solid choices in the $500-$1000 range used market.

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