Friday, September 06, 2013


I could make some kind of comment here about "first post in long time" or "long-neglected blog", but screw that.  Life happens.

So back in January, I decided to upgrade my receiver to one that had all the fancy HDMI inputs and such.  These shiny new receivers are great for "home theater" type applications, but they are severely lacking in analog inputs for things like turntables or tape decks, unless you want to spend around $1000 or more.  Spoiler: I didn't want to spend that much.  For the record, I got the Onkyo TX-NR515 at a great price with a WiFi adapter included.  (But not from Amazon).

Pause here to say "yes, I still have a turntable, and listen to vinyl records on it regularly".  Well, I did until I put the new receiver in the living room.  Then I had super-fantastic Dolby (tm) surround sound for watching DVDs and BluRays and streamed Netflix and such, but no way to listen to the records.

Eventually (last month) I connected up my old receiver, along with the turntable and tape deck, in another room. I used some old surround front channel speakers that provide no bass at all, but hey I could listen to the analog sources while I was working on my computer.

Of course those speakers just weren't cutting it, so I started searching around for something better.   I actually bought a pair of Klipsch bookshelf speakers at Best Buy, but they had to be "ordered" from another store, and BB being who they are, they completely botched the whole thing and I'm done with them forever.  Then I zeroed in on some Pioneer SPBS22s.  Lots of good reviews around the 'net and the price was OK.  I went to check them out at the local HHGregg (whose website told me they were in stock), but I couldn't find them, and nobody was interested in helping me anyway.  This scenario actually happened in both local stores, so they're off the list too.

Then I looked on Amazon, and while they listed the SPBS22s, on sale at a price nearly half off what HHGregg wanted, they also showed an estimated delivery time frame of 1 to 2 months.  It was bad enough that I was going to buy speakers without hearing them, but waiting until October or November was right out.  Luckily though, they had one pair listed in their "warehouse outlet".  Used, but "like new".  And 10% less than the already low price.

Despite selecting free "Super Saver" from Amazon, they were actually sent out nearly immediately, and yesterday was the day of waiting.  I stayed around the house almost all day, but finally had to go out for some errands, but found the large box waiting for me when I got home.

I hooked them up this morning and took 'em for a test drive with a heavy vinyl version of Chris Difford's I Didn't Get Where I Am.  The speakers sound amazing, and so does that record.  Seriously, if you haven't heard it, please check it out.