Sonic Impact 5066 with $100 speakers

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I know this isn't really DIY, but I couldn't figure out a better forum for Sonic Impact questions. I just came across it a couple days ago, and this forum is where I've learned most of the information about it.

I've been keeping my eyes on the JBL E20 speakers sold at JnR for $90 shipped, to replace some 8-year old altec lansing computer speakers. Problem was, I wanted a cheap, good, small amp, but that problem has been solved by the Sonic Impact.

I'm currently living on the road, so smaller is better. I have a nice pair of JBL S38 speakers at home, but they were too big to fit in my car. So I need to go small (5" woofer would probably be best) while still getting decent sound, and the E20 speakers fit that bill.

My concern is that the E20s are 86db sensitivity. I'm not going to be cranking the volume very often, but I don't know what kind of results I'll get. Perhaps a higher sensitivity speaker would sound better on the amp?

Here are my options:

I'm also willing to consider ebay, though the prices might get beyond my range.

or if I skipped the amp altogether...

Anyone have any thoughts? I'm going to be using this as my main music speakers as well as doing recording monitoring and mixing. I'm looking for accuracy first, and range second (I would like some small portion of bass).
Consider Polk

I purchased a small pair of Polk, maybe R-15 or something close. They are in the kids video room driven with a 30 year old Marantz 2238. The speakers were 49.00 a pair at Fry's.
The sound is fantastic. I am sure a SI will be fine, the old Marantz will drive them LOUD. It was rated 38 watts, but is most likely 25 -30 at best. The SI should deliver 9 watts into the load.

I'd go with the Paradigms if at all possible. They're seriously good. You should be able to get a pair of Paradigms on ebay for around $100. Failing that, the JBLs are decent but not in the same league, in my opinion. You may also want to consider Energy speakers. The Energy Take 2.2 is pretty close to your price range. I'd recommend Paradigm Atoms but they're harder to find.

Energy Take 2.2 auctions
Thanks for the replies.

Hmmm... I'll have to consider the Polk then. I really wish I was near a Frys so I could try it out and return it if I didn't like it. I was pretty sold on the JBLs because of my satisfaction with the S38 speakers and knowledge that the E, N, and S series all have similar designs. My main concern was whether or not 86 db sensitivity speakers would be appropriate for the T-amp.

Yes, I figured the Paradigms would indeed be head and shoulders above the rest, but I've found they typically go for $200+ on ebay, and the current cheapest one is pushing $200 shipped. The Paradigm Mini Monitors are also the only small speaker I've seen anywhere close to my pricerange with 90+ db sensitivity. Everything else is 89db or lower.

Hmm... I hadn't considered the Energy Take 2.2 speakers. After looking at them, they seem good, though they have a tendency to blow so I think I'll pass. The only other thing I'd have against them is I'm a little biased against anything smaller than a 5" woofer due to dramatically reduced bass. I don't know if that's really a fair bias with the Take 2.2s, but that's something that runs through my head. :)

Any other thoughts or comments? I'm still going back to the point of wondering how important is high sensitivity?
The higher the sensitivity/efficiency of the speaker will allow the amp to work more efficiently as well. You will have more head room in your music for peak demands. If the amp has to work harder because the speakers are hard to drive (for example, 88db and below) then you will get compression in your music. The music will be harsh and thin sounding.....not very musical at all:cannotbe:
So it would be better to get something like the Klipsch SB-1/SB-2 speakers than any of the other options even though they might be flatter and more transparent with higher-powered amps? Keep in mind that I don't much care about volume outside of slightly-higher than normal levels at 2-4 feet. This is what I am struggling with.

Currently, I'm keeping my eyes on these speakers:
Klipsch SB1/2
Polk RT15i/RT25i
JBL E20/E30
Paradigm Titans (given up on getting the mini monitors anywhere near my price range)
If you are going to play at low levels then those speakers that you have would work. The key I believe is to really know what listening level you are at. I typically listen to my music at night. I hit 75-80db with some peaks @ 90db in a small room (11X11X8). I am using wharfedale 87db efficiency speakers with the Sonic T and they work great with accoustic, jazz, light classical with notes not below 50hz. If I want to play a little louder (90db+ around 11:00 on the volume control) during the day time I hook up my speakers to my Primaluna Prologue One integrated tube.....sound wonderful and will play most anything I throw at it

I am looking at the Klipsch for my daughter's room hooked up to a pioneer DVD/CD and a Sonic T (around $250 total w/wires) as I think it will be a good match when she wants to play her music/dvd a little loud. Anyway, happy hunting with the speakers and let us know what you came up with and how it sounds.
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