I think you are asking the wrong group. Most of us have bought expensive speakers thinking they are better than inexpensive speakers, even though we didn't necessarily explore the cheaper alternative.
Also there is no way anyone can tell you whatever shortcomings they may have are OK because the price was worth the sacrifices they may present, i.e. we don't know whether the money is more or less important to you.
That said, most of the gear we buy represents that last few percentage points of high quality not equaled by more mass production models. Therefore I imagine that they and some similar Sony speakers from a few years back sound very good, but , alas, are they good enough.
"Who has heard these speakers and are they as good as advertised? For the price have read there a surprisingly good speaker."
I have a pair and have probably sold another 5-6 pairs for friends and family members. Are they perfect, no, but for the money, they are indeed excellent.
People really should hear these.
Read the 42 page discussion on them at audiocircle.com
I own SP-FS52 floor standers with 8 inch Pioneer sub. Very very happy with home theater and sound for music!!!!
I bought a pair for my nephew and they sound pretty darn gone good.
I have a pair on a computer. I can't see you doing any better for the money, but you can get a better speaker if you are willing to pay more.
Wonderful product. I've owned many really nice speakers from Spendor, Harbeth, Meadowlark, Rega and Linn. I totally dig these. Mine flank a Mac-fueled system in the living room. I never worry about guests/friends hurting them because they cost $100/pair.
My friend has them in his living room connected to a Peachtree Decco 65 and he cannot stop bragging about it!
Sounded better than the Audioengine P4s at less than 1/2 the price!
Paired with a NAD D3020 and the matching Pioneer sub these went to college with my son this fall. For the cost.... a great small system.
What do you feel they lack?
They are fantastic! For a small inexpensive speaker they lack a bit in refinement, scale and dynamics but they sound great even in my large room (26'x23'x11'). I've used them in my main system for about four months while I decide on a permanent speaker.
For me they are so good that it is going to take a speaker 15-20 times the cost of it($99) to move me to replace it.
What I like about them most is that they sound complete and full at low volumes and boogie nicely at moderate to high volumes. They do something right in the lower mids and upper bass that make them sound a lot larger and fuller than you would think.
I guess you are asking the right group. My apology. Every so often a product comes along that makes you wonder about spending big money for small increments in quality.
A very good speaker for the original asking price. Keep going down in price on Amazon. Bought mine for $97 shipped, have seen for less than $60 since.
The Amazon discounts I previously mentioned seem to no longer exist.
There's a new speaker out by Sony (SSCS5). They cost a little more, but it looks like they may be a better speaker than the Pioneer. Best Buy currently has them on sale at a really good price.
Anyone with experience with the Pioneer vs. speakers at the $350 price point. It seems from comparisons made in the Pioneer reviews that there is not much to be gained at the increased price point.
no knock on the pioneer, which sounds very nice for the price, but the best-reviewed speakers i've heard at the $350 price point (whafedale 10.1, music hall marimba) are in an altogether different league, with much more high end refinement, low-end oomph, etc. the audioengine p4 is also impressive in that range.
"It seems from comparisons made in the Pioneer reviews that there is not much to be gained at the increased price point."
Keep in mind that there are so many speakers in that price range, it would be almost impossible for 1 person to review them all.
Loomis, I would hope and expect that is true. I will continue to watch for a used pair of the Wharfdale 10.1s to show up, buy then and do my own comparison.
Zd, Yes there are. I save reviews of speakers that interest me. Must have 10+ in that price range.
I expect the frequency extension can be improved, however even against the~$350 speakers, the Pioneer's soundstage and imaging seems very good.
I am just thinking that at the bottom end of high end audio, which the Pioneers represent, a ~3x increase in expenditure should return a significant sonic benefit.
music direct, which i believe has free shipping and a liberal return policy, has 10.1 demos for $280 or so--vg speaker.
Thanks for the info Loomis.
I just bought a miniature speaker system for my computer, but they were more expensive and very compact "soundmatters" box I'll fill you in after I get them.