External Speakers, what is everyone using?

iMONITOR

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I'm looking for a good general purpose speaker to use with my new Kenwood TS-590SG transceiver. The Kenwood, Icom, Yeasu, and Alinco don't impress. While they look nice and compliment the radio cosmetically, they all seem to be the same over priced cheesy empty tin box with a very cheap small speaker. While some include switches that adjust the frequency response to be tailored for voice that allow settings like tinny, really tinny and awful tinny. I'd prefer something like one with a built in equalizer to give a good tailored response for not only voice but music as well when needed. I'd prefer not to use an external equalizer as desk space is limited around the radio. Any suggestions?
 

WA8ZTZ

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Headphones for serious listening, even better with some sort of filter like the MFJ-722B, would be the way to go.
If you want just a "general purpose speaker", maybe consider building your own in a wood enclosure.
Otherwise, if you really want to fill the shack with sound, you are looking at an equalizer and a powered speaker.
The PRAS system was reviewed in the April 2019 QST. MFJ and bhi may also have what you desire.
 

iMONITOR

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Been using surplus Motorola speakers for years. No equalizer, but they sound great. $5 at any ham fest near you.
I've used Motorola's numerous times for scanners for voice only applications and you're right, they work great! But I doun't think they'd cut it for music. They're designed to clip the highs and lows that good sounding music would require.
 

baybum

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Computer speakers...especially if they accept something close to 12VDC. Using them for many years.
 

KC1UA

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Realistic Minimus 7 or Minimus 77. No longer manufactured but some in good shape can be found at eBay etc. I use one with my IC-7300 and the sound, to me anyway, is superb. No equalizer but the 7300 has separate bass and treble controls within the menu which help.
 

WB9YBM

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I'm looking for a good general purpose speaker to use with my new Kenwood TS-590SG transceiver. Any suggestions?
Depends on how fancy you want to get. For example the most dramatic improvement for the lowest cost I've seen is taking a speaker and laying it on the opening of an empty Kleenex box (using the Kleenex box as a baffle). Using a bookshelf stereo speaker provided the next biggest jump in quality improvement.

For a more in-depth discussion of this I can recommend the July 2002 issue of QST magazine, published by the ARRL (American Radio Relay League)--specifically the article titled "Improve Audio at the Other End!" on pages 53-4.
 

k6cpo

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I use an MFJ 385B speaker on my iCom IC-751A HF radio and Motorola mobile speakers on my two VHF/UHF radios.
 

consys

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I agree with almost everything iMONTIOR wrote. For my music + radio setup I use a small multi channel mixer w/ built in amp to bookshelf speakers and a powered sub woofer.
The key is three band EQ per channel on the mixer vs. a global equalizer. You can cut the hiss and rumble from the radio(s) just like the big M speakers do, and still have great music.
My mixer is now 12 channels, with 6 sources connected and room for "other toys" . I started with a 4 ch years ago...
 

k7ng

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I got a like-new Yaesu SP-5 about 15 years ago, fit my needs nicely and matched the transceiver I had at the time.
Has high cut / low cut controls and an A/B switch. Excellent sound quality. Provision for an add-on audio module of some kind.
The SP-6 model wasn't as pretty, in my opinion. Now, none of the currently-made speakers look that great to me.
Now I have an IC-7300 and the speaker is bigger than the radio. Still kinda matches, though. The various bidding venues / radio classifieds sites might help.
 

AK9R

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I would not pay new price for a "matching" speaker for your IcoKenYae radio. It's a classic case of offering the radio at an affordable price and then inflating the price of the accessories. The only thing that matches about those speakers is the appearance. In most cases, the radio just needs an 8 ohm speaker. The matching case really doesn't do much for you other than provide an enclosure for the speaker.

Building one from components, like those at Parts Express, does sound like an interesting idea. But, these appear to be the least expensive on the PE website and they are still $110 a pair. Home

As suggested, search Craig's list, Facebook market, etc., for someone local to you selling a pair of small passive studio monitors at a fair price.
 

k7ng

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Yes! Studio monitors!
(I never would have paid full price for the 'matching' speaker, but I thought $50 wasn't too bad, considering.
 

iMONITOR

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Somebody could likely make a profitable cottage business putting together decent speaker's for hams. Factory units are way overpriced for their function. Lot's of bookshelf speaker parts here: Parts Express: Speakers, Amplifiers, Audio Parts and Solutions
Oh no kidding! It seems our choices are either $15/ea for junk or $200+ for a decent radio speaker that should be around $50-$75. I will say the Astatic 4" speaker that typically goes for about $13-$15 does work well for a scanner's voice frequencies.
 
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Ubbe

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They're designed to clip the highs and lows that good sounding music would require.
Their bigger 5"x5" speakers don't clip lows and have a really good bass for music. But any Hi-Hat and cymbals are lost. For digital transmissions you can use HiFi speakers of the amplified computer type but any noise from analog transmissions can be annoying. The Motorola speaker will not reproduce that noise.

/Ubbe
 

iMONITOR

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Realistic Minimus 7 or Minimus 77. No longer manufactured but some in good shape can be found at eBay etc. I use one with my IC-7300 and the sound, to me anyway, is superb. No equalizer but the 7300 has separate bass and treble controls within the menu which help.
That's going back a few years. Those were nice!
 

TailGator911

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I am constantly on the lookout for the Grove SP-200 speaker, one of the best accessories sold by Grove Enterprises. Once tweaked, it was a great scanner or shortwave speaker. Very hard to find. I regret that I parted with it when I shelved the hobby for a few years.
 

iMONITOR

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I am constantly on the lookout for the Grove SP-200 speaker, one of the best accessories sold by Grove Enterprises. Once tweaked, it was a great scanner or shortwave speaker. Very hard to find. I regret that I parted with it when I shelved the hobby for a few years.
Yup! Been there, done that! :(
 
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