Butt ugly mini systems

rs159rs159 Posts: 1,027
edited February 2003 in 2 Channel Audio
Just an observation - most mini systems under $400 or so are butt ugly. They look like they were designed by ricers who want to take that "500 stickers, neon everywhere, and fake 2nd exhaust pipe" look into their homes. Is this supposed to be cool or something?

Excellent example:
PC.JVC.HXZ1.RT.JPG
Post edited by rs159 on
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Comments

  • gidrahgidrah Posts: 3,031
    edited February 2003
    Yep! I think they went for the "Wow, that's cool" looking crowd and got carried away.
    Make it Funky! :)
  • rs159rs159 Posts: 1,027
    edited February 2003
    Actual review for the system pictured above:

    "Coolest Looking Sound System Ever

    The retro look of this little monster easily beats any other sound system out there - I was originally only planning to spend 100-150 dollars on a system, but after seeing this one I was sold. It doesn't have any fancy bells or whistles, but its verticallook is distincitively cool-looking - its almost identical to a vertical tower PC, but with a much flashier front. The sound quality is not amazing - at low volume you can barely hear the subwoofer. And it has some trouble driving my two 100 watt speakers (It has only somehting like 35 wattsx2 for the actual speakers, with over 100 watts for each subwoofer) but overall the system looks great on the ol' desk and, when cranked up, could easily be the center of a discotec -at high volumes the sound goes through walls like they were made of paper, and the subwoofer was rattling kitchen glass across the hall. Good times :)"
  • JstasJstas Posts: 13,848
    edited February 2003
    If you get the higher end model of that one pictured, low end response at low listening levels goes up. Out of all of them though, Kenwood has the least flashiest and probably best performing etup but that is slowly becoming less true. They are going one of two ways: art-deco or ricer-gaudy. No nice, in-between deal. They are pretty good for a dorm room or an office or a bedroom system though.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!
  • MxStYlEpOlKmAnMxStYlEpOlKmAn Posts: 2,116
    edited February 2003
    you think thats bad...look at it in real life, it dosnt look all that bad -- its just real slinder. Looks like its on a subway diet and the man is 6 feet tall.
    Damn you all, damn you all to hell.......
    I promised myself
    No more speakers. None. Nada. And then you posted this!!!!
    Damn you all! - ATC
  • rs159rs159 Posts: 1,027
    edited February 2003
    Originally posted by Jstas
    They are going one of two ways: art-deco or ricer-gaudy. No nice, in-between deal. They are pretty good for a dorm room or an office or a bedroom system though.

    Take THAT!
    EC.ONK.MC35TECH.CN.JPG

    'Course 300 dollars I think is the absolute limit that I would spend for an all in one deal. Anything above and you could do better with seperates I think.
  • JstasJstas Posts: 13,848
    edited February 2003
    Ok that's nice and all, mind telling us what it is?
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!
  • MxStYlEpOlKmAnMxStYlEpOlKmAn Posts: 2,116
    edited February 2003
    Man...thos JVC's...ugly or not. THEY CAN PACK SOME PUNCH! I've heard that 300 dollar model, and I swear to god the shelves shook at volume 8. They have the punch -- but for 400 bucks. You can buy a good 2 channel receiver, some cheap speakers and sub and have alot of upgrade room.....but a nice Shelf System in a garage didnt hurt no one -- except the neighbors.
    Damn you all, damn you all to hell.......
    I promised myself
    No more speakers. None. Nada. And then you posted this!!!!
    Damn you all! - ATC
  • rs159rs159 Posts: 1,027
    edited February 2003
    Originally posted by Jstas
    Ok that's nice and all, mind telling us what it is?

    Onkyo shelf system w/ 3 disc changer and reciever. $400 at CC. Doesn't really look like a shelf system, probably a good thing.
  • rs159rs159 Posts: 1,027
    edited February 2003
    Originally posted by MxStYlEpOlKmAn
    Man...thos JVC's...ugly or not. THEY CAN PACK SOME PUNCH! I've heard that 300 dollar model, and I swear to god the shelves shook at volume 8. They have the punch -- but for 400 bucks. You can buy a good 2 channel receiver, some cheap speakers and sub and have alot of upgrade room.....but a nice Shelf System in a garage didnt hurt no one -- except the neighbors.

    When I move the real system to the basement I'll need something better than the tv speakers in the bedroom. I'll probably buy JVC for bang for the buck. I hate the way they look, so I'll try hard to hide it between books or something. All the decent looking systems suck ****, and all the fugly ones are great. Figures...
  • SystemsSystems Posts: 14,998
    edited February 2003
    Denon has some minisystems that use Mission bookshelfs. Can't say for sure, but I expect that'd be the way to go if you're wanting minisytem. NAD may still have one with a CD player/receiver single unit & some PSB spkrs. Onkyo used to have one w/Polk spkrs, but not any more.
    Testing
    Testing
    Testing
  • JstasJstas Posts: 13,848
    edited February 2003
    Originally posted by rs159


    Onkyo shelf system w/ 3 disc changer and reciever. $400 at CC. Doesn't really look like a shelf system, probably a good thing.

    Well, in the past 2 years, that has to be the ONLY decent looking system I have seen. Have you listened to it? Does it sound any good? Onkyo makes decent electronics for the price, I imagine that it would be acceptable. I wonder what kind of speaker leads it has and what the impedance range is? If the speakers are junk but the electronics are decent, a pair of Polk RTi38's might go well with it and look a hell of alot better than whats there.


    MxStYlEpOlKmAn,
    I agree with you that the reciever and speakers would be just as good a deal for 400 bucks but, add a CD player (changer in most cases) dual tape decks, a radio with presets and in some cases CD-R and MD drives and your simple reciever and speakers far exceeds 400 bucks. If you want something for an office or a kid and you aren't being a stickler for anything, these kinds of systems will be adequate. Also, add on top of the electrical features, portability, compactness and ease of use and setup and they pretty much blow away any component based system that you could dream up. If you, by some stretch of the imagination, happen to piece something together for 400 bucks then I'm willing to bet that the little shelf system would actually win the SQ test.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!
  • shackshack Posts: 11,284
    edited February 2003
    Like Meestercleef said, there are several good looking and good sounding Denon Mini systems available like the Denon M-30 and the Denon M-100 with Mission speaker shown below:

    513664-elec_lg.jpg


    513669-elec_lg.jpg

    Plus Meestercleef alsom mentioned the NAD L-40 which is a CD-receiver that is excellent and looks nice. Pick it up and pair it with a nice set of bookshelf speakers and you have an excellent desktop system:

    nad_l-40.jpg

    And if you want a really quality desktop stereo system there is the Linn Classik:

    classik.jpg

    This also comes in blue, white, silver and green. Theis is a wonderful little system. I heard it mated with a pair of Linn Katan bookshelf speakers and it was sweet. Of course this one will set you back $2,000 or so before speakers.

    There are lots of good quality and good looking mini systems out there. You could even go for the retro look with the Tivoli Audio Henry Kloss Model Two Table Radio with CD player. This too sounds and looks nice.


    pradcmbobig.jpg

    I know the original thread said the "Under $400" was his criteria. Three of the 5 listed above can be found for under $400 and the other is close with only the Linn significantly higher.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

    "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson
  • RuSsMaNRuSsMaN Posts: 17,995
    edited February 2003
    Nice post shack, I was un-aware that the Kloss/Tivoli rig offered a cd player.

    As far as that Denon/Mission systems goes. I have a pair of those little m-50 speakers. If you need a small speaker, beit rears, office rig, whatever, YOU NEED TO HEAR THESE.

    I can't stress the FULL SOUND that they produce. The bass is nothing short of AMAZING for a speaker of this size. They truely sound MUCH bigger than they look.

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.
  • SystemsSystems Posts: 14,998
    edited February 2003
    Just to clarify--the NAD is offered not just as a CD/receiver unit, but also as part of an NAD "music system" with 2 small PSB spkrs & some Phoenix Gold spkr cables. I don't know how it compares to others in value per dollar. I don't think PSB makes those particular spkrs anymore, so it may be that it's a soon to be discontinued package.
    Testing
    Testing
    Testing
  • shackshack Posts: 11,284
    edited February 2003
    The NAD Music System is still avaliable with the PSB Alpha Mini speakers.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

    "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson
  • faster100faster100 Posts: 6,247
    edited February 2003
    Ok apples to oranges need i say, Lets not compare walmarts mini system equip with the futuristic look, to a Onkyo, denon or nad
    it's just not the same nor do the same type people buy these systems, are we putting it in juniors room, or in the all cherry finished fancy Den down stairs, ya know what i mean?? That wasn't geared towards anyone if they happen to have a cherry den or kid with a mini system, :)
    MY HT RIG:
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    2 Channel Rig:

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  • JstasJstas Posts: 13,848
    edited February 2003
    Russ, I am told that the Tivoli has line level inputs and I am told that it will accept any component with compatable inputs. You don't need to get the CD player. I may be wrong but I have a memory of that when I was looking for a system for work. But then I went and got the tube amp kit and built my own amp.

    faster100, are you looking for a mini system or a shelf system?

    If you want a shelf system for a kid's room, i'd go with the JVC stuff. Kids will like it because it looks cool and it should service thier LOUD needs for years to come without having to replace it. Unless it breaks of course. Also, it is the most powerful thing in its class, on the market. While it may not win any sound quality contests, who needs quality sound when it reaches ear bleeding volume levels?

    If you want a mini system for the den, I listened to this one at a local SEARS.

    l113HM335S-f.jpeg

    I can't walk through a department store without visiting the electronics department. Anyway, this Kenwood unit is alot more potent than it seems, has gobs of versatility with the CD-R and CD-RW capabilities. It doesn't read MP3's but with a 180 dollar price tag, grabbing an MP3 player or hooking it up to a line out on a sound card to this system's auxiliary input is fairly inexpensive and a total breeze. It has a remote and even an alarm clock system. There is alot of value there for 180 bucks. The sound isn't quite as powerful as some of the other systems but if you are looking for something cheap but pleasing to the ear and eye, this is probably one of teh best ways to go. It's small so it will easily fit in a book shelf shelf. Also, it looks shiney in this picture but it doesn't have that much glare in reality. I guess the flash was turned up too bright for this picture.

    If you want more oomph or a larger more capable system then I suggest taking a harder hit to the pocket book and going with the Denon or Onkyo units posted above. Anything in the 300-450 dollar range is either a moon-unit or from Sony and really not worth the money.

    Unless you goto WAL*MART for real. Then you have a selection of AIWA, Panasonic, the JVC stuff, RCA, Emerson and GPX. I think the box most of those come in is worth more than the actual unit. I also hold AIWA in the same regard as BOSE. In other words, don't believe the hype. They sound cool in the store where wide open spaces diffuse heavy bass and extreme highs so you don't realize how unbalanced the system sounds until you get it home.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!
  • shackshack Posts: 11,284
    edited February 2003
    Ok apples to oranges need i say, Lets not compare walmarts mini system equip with the futuristic look, to a Onkyo, denon or nad

    That is exactly what we are doing based upon the post that started this tread.
    Just an observation - most mini systems under $400 or so are butt ugly. They look like they were designed by ricers who want to take that "500 stickers, neon everywhere, and fake 2nd exhaust pipe" look into their homes. Is this supposed to be cool or something?

    What I attempted to do is to show that there are indeed systems in the $400 range that look good. If your point is that young people don't buy nice equipment...look at what is in their cars. I think the sets like the one in rs159's original post may be sold more to the pre-teen market and those that don't have a clue and buy based on the fact that something that "looks" hi-tech...must be. On the flip side I think that the Mfgs are playing to that market. If they think it looks hi-tech they will assume it is high tech even if it sound like $hit. There are several "hi-tech" looking systems that are actually pretty good. Lets use Denon again as an example:

    $700 MSRP

    h033D107-f.jpeg

    $300 MSRP

    h033DA03-f.jpeg

    As I understand these are quite good and have a nice modern look without being FAKE hi-tech.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

    "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson
  • shackshack Posts: 11,284
    edited February 2003
    Anything in the 300-450 dollar range is either a moon-unit or from Sony and really not worth the money.

    Every Denon system except one can be had in that price range.

    Here is one from Yamaha

    617329-elec_lg.jpg

    From Onkyo (same system rs159 posted)

    Image%5fProducts%2fonkyo%2fmc35tech%2ejpg

    There are several very nice systems in the sub $500 range. I know this because I've been looking for something for my daughter for when she goes to college next year.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

    "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson
  • MxStYlEpOlKmAnMxStYlEpOlKmAn Posts: 2,116
    edited February 2003
    Id take a JVC neday really - Those drivers can play loud, and still sound good -- only thing I dont like about them is the tweeters, they need alot of distance from one another or their really harsh
    Damn you all, damn you all to hell.......
    I promised myself
    No more speakers. None. Nada. And then you posted this!!!!
    Damn you all! - ATC
  • rs159rs159 Posts: 1,027
    edited February 2003
    Originally posted by shack


    I think the sets like the one in rs159's original post may be sold more to the pre-teen market and those that don't have a clue and buy based on the fact that something that "looks" hi-tech...must be.

    You sir, are correct. Seems like uneducated folk will buy whatever has "da big bass" and all kinds of flashy lights and things that are easy to break. Perfect example here - people that don't know what a port does don't know that many speakers have them, so JVC decided to appeal to the uneducated market by putting the ports on the OUTSIDE, and then saying that they are revolutionary and give the system "super duper ultra mega bass" or something like that.

    letsgodigital_1726_372109217
  • rs159rs159 Posts: 1,027
    edited February 2003
    All this is so confusing, why not just buy one of these? Big speaker sound from a small enclosure! You have to buy the separate pedistal to connect extra components, but it's only an extra $150. :D
    pi_awms.jpg

    (Being sarcastic here if you can't tell)
  • JstasJstas Posts: 13,848
    edited February 2003
    Originally posted by shack


    Every Denon system except one can be had in that price range.

    Here is one from Yamaha
    From Onkyo (same system rs159 posted)]

    There are several very nice systems in the sub $500 range. I know this because I've been looking for something for my daughter for when she goes to college next year.

    Sub 500$ range is not his specified range though. It's sub 400$ and of all the Denon systems I have seen, only 1 fits that category. The Onkyo and Yamaha ones are on the very teetering edge of his price range. I suppose they are acceptable candidates but they aren't the sparkling bargains you are making them out to be. They offer a large amount of functionality for a fairly large price.

    I'm not trying to take a slam at anyone. He just said sub $400 range and all but 2 of the items you mentioned don't fit that criteria.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!
  • MxStYlEpOlKmAnMxStYlEpOlKmAn Posts: 2,116
    edited February 2003
    HAHAHAHHAHAHA! THose ports are cool, if ur wearing a hat -- and turn it up it'll fly off. Its cool. Those ports go straight to the sub so it moves so major air. LOL! Personally I didnt like those lights......I was seriously thinking about ripping the buttons off and taking the lights away
    Damn you all, damn you all to hell.......
    I promised myself
    No more speakers. None. Nada. And then you posted this!!!!
    Damn you all! - ATC
  • MxStYlEpOlKmAnMxStYlEpOlKmAn Posts: 2,116
    edited February 2003
    Awesome System -- some KLH 3-way bookshelf speakers, a cheap receiver, a cheap cd player....
    bang for the buck there
    Damn you all, damn you all to hell.......
    I promised myself
    No more speakers. None. Nada. And then you posted this!!!!
    Damn you all! - ATC
  • rs159rs159 Posts: 1,027
    edited February 2003
    Whoa... this kinda grew to a size a didn't expect it to so I guess I should lay down some hard and fast rules for what I want.

    1) Under ~300-400 dollars
    2) Not ugly (duh)
    3) Powerful sound. Must extend to ~50hz or lower, and can't skimp on maximum volume
    4) Clarity. Can't be muddy, but can't be bright. I like a slightly warm but not muffled sound.
    5) CDR/RW support.
    6) Can't be HUGE. Seperate components in the same system are acceptable, as long as they aren't as big as a sony megachanger
    7) Good remote. Should be able to control EVERYTHING on the system from the remote. Doesn't have to be universal, just not your typical ho-hum little remote that only controls the CD player.
    8) Expandability. If I don't like the speakers I should be able to change them and being able to hook up a sub wouldn't hurt. Need inputs for TV/VCR.
    9) MP3 support. I could burn off 50 CDs, but that's a pain in the ****.
    10) Dependability. Can't break in 3 years.
    11) Easy to get. Can't be some rare product you can only find as used and you have to really look for it.

    What I don't care about:
    1) Infinity+1 capacity disc changer. Actually, I prefer one for reliability.
    2) (Multiple) Tape deck(s). Who cares? That's why I have a CD burner.
    3) Headphone jack quality. Who cares?
    4) FM reception. There's what? 2 "cultured" radio stations where I live. I don't need something that can pick up signals from outer space or anything.
  • MxStYlEpOlKmAnMxStYlEpOlKmAn Posts: 2,116
    edited February 2003
    Check out the Philips line.....seriously......

    Go to walmart.com and check em out - they sound relatively clean, and have tight bass for the $$ and hit $250
    Damn you all, damn you all to hell.......
    I promised myself
    No more speakers. None. Nada. And then you posted this!!!!
    Damn you all! - ATC
  • JstasJstas Posts: 13,848
    edited February 2003
    Well, try some of these.

    This is a Sanyo unit. I know, Sanyo, it's like the cheap Sony ripoff. I actually have an old Sanyo boom box. I've had it for about 13-14 years now and everything still works. It's been on camping trips and to the races too. Pretty reliable and dirt cheap. This Sanyo system sounded pretty nice in WAL*MART and I believe that it would perform well in a small bedroom. I couldn't pull it off the shelf and see but if it is like any other Sanyo product I have seen, it has quick clips for the speakers. It'll accept any speakers you want to throw on there.

    It's a Sanyo AWM-2700
    0008648304320_215X215.jpg

    Here are the Phillips systems Mx was talking about:

    Phillips FWC555-37
    0003784991867_215X215.jpg

    Phillips FWR33-37
    0003784990931_215X215.jpg


    This Panasonic one looks the same but has 3 different trim levels:

    Panasonic SC-AK110
    0003798840658_215X215.jpg

    You can check out these systems here: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product_listing.gsp?cat=4479&path=0%3A3944%3A3987%3A96890%3A4479

    Also, they have mini-systems that you can see here: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product_listing.gsp?cat=96891&path=0%3A3944%3A3987%3A96890%3A96891

    But nothing real thrilling in that respect.

    That is about the bottom of the barrel. The Phillips stuff is ok. I can personally vouch for the durability of the Sanyo stuff and the Panasonic is about the same level as Sony only cheaper. There is stuff a bit lower that you can find at Kmart but I seriously would not waste your time if I were you.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!
  • MxStYlEpOlKmAnMxStYlEpOlKmAn Posts: 2,116
    edited February 2003
    no....thats not it -- its the 250 unit -- it has 2 subs, a tweeter, a super tweeter, and a woofer

    here ya go, walmart dont carry it nemore i guess.....

    http://www.consumer.philips.com/global/b2c/ce/catalog/product.jhtml;jsessionid=UCYUZNVWO1GXKCRQNE2RX1YKGBUCWHAW?divId=0&groupId=AUDIO_GR&catId=HOME_AUDIO_CA&subCatId=MINI_SYSTEMS_SU&productId=FW-C788_17
    Damn you all, damn you all to hell.......
    I promised myself
    No more speakers. None. Nada. And then you posted this!!!!
    Damn you all! - ATC
  • shackshack Posts: 11,284
    edited February 2003
    Here are the prices of all of the units I posted from a quick scan. Better prices may be available.

    Tivoli Audio Henry Kloss Model Two Table Radio w/CD - $359
    Denon D-M30 - $295
    DenonD-M50 - $385
    Denon D-M100 - $550
    Denon D-107 - $485
    Denon D-A03 - $215
    Yamaha MCR E150 - $399
    Onkyo MC35-Tech - $399


    I was not referring to rs159's post but your comment that I quoted:
    Anything in the 300-450 dollar range is either a moon-unit or from Sony and really not worth the money
    That is of course is subjective and we obviously disagree. None the less all but 2 meet his criteria and the other 2 aren't far off (Especially the Denon D-107 which includes a subwoofer).
    Since you don't like people putting words in your mouth please don't do so to me:
    they aren't the sparkling bargains you are making them out to be.
    I never said they were "sparkling bargains" or bargains at all...just that they were good looking units (as opposed to butt ugly) from good companies that were in the general price range.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

    "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson
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