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Need help with speaker purchase

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by PeteMum, Apr 6, 2003.

  1. PeteMum

    PeteMum New Member

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    I just got into this Home Theater hobby and must say it is addicting! I recently purchased a 55" Mits HDTV, Sony WM40 sub(mod'd it), and a Onkyo SR600 receiver which I love, but is in getting fixed.

    I got the go ahead to upgrade the speakers from the CFO(wife) I have been to the local Hi-Fi store, which carries Paradigm, Kplipch, B+W, and some others. I have a budget of $1000-$1200 to work with. All of the speakers I heard sound great, but I am still undecided. Plus the salesman there keep trying to get me into the really expensive stuff.

    All I will be needing is 6 speakers since I have a 6.1 reciever and already have a sub.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Khoa Tran

    Khoa Tran Well-Known Member

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    i think you should find a different store where the salesman isn't interested in getting you into more expensive equipment but what you're interested in
     
  3. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Well-Known Member

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    Pete,

    Between these three spkr lines you’ll have plenty of satisfactory choices.
    For example, Paradigm Mini-Monitors excel as “bookshelf” speakers (not actually inside a cabinet tho). Klipsch excels at higher efficiency ratings meaning less work to drive them by the amp. B&W excel as midrange spkrs. Your budget may be a bit low, tho.

    Since most of us, I wud guess, use our main system to play tv audio, CDs, FM radio as well as HT, selecting speakers opens many possibilities. One at first is tempted to buy some sort of dream speakers, like fairly substantial floorstanders. For some users, this may be overkill, and there are room décor and WAF considerations for larger Mains.

    Given the improvements in smaller spkr design and tweeters, there’s a good argument that using surround type spkrs front and back – in conjunction with a center speaker in the same model line and a GOOD subwoofer – is the way to go, both sonically and fiscally.

    For DVDs, the DolbyDigital/Dts coding system is well-suited to for bass management that sends low bass and movie low-frequency effects (LFE) to the sub. This means the Mains do not have to have as demanding for this lower range, and you will read that the usual method is setting front speakers to SMALL thru the receiver set-up to divert all bass below 80-90Hz away from the mains to the Sub.

    As for costs, factor in that using “bookshelf” spkrs up front requires stands; perhaps for the rears, too, if not mounted to the walls from the outset or using “milk cartons” for awhile. [I haven’t had to shop for a rear center spkr, so wont comment].
     
  4. Alex F.

    Alex F. Well-Known Member

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    The brands you mentioned are all quality products. Also explore other stores and brands. Purchase what sounds best to you and your wife. If possible, bring her along to audition the speakers--she will have to listen to them at home, too. My wife, like most women, have very acute sensitivity to the upper midrange and lower treble, and she thus cannot listen long to some brands and models as a result. Bring along one or two favorite CDs, and always play the same few songs on every speaker you audition.

    It is very important that whatever you purchase comes with a full refund policy (in writing) in case the loudspeakers do not sound as good to you at home as they did in the store. The sonic environment in the store and in your room at home are completely different. It is very common to become disappointed with a speaker after listening to it for a few days at home. Open up the shipping boxes for the front speakers first. If you don't like them, the dealer will be happy that you returned the surround speakers unopened.

    Also, allow the speakers to be broken in for a few hours before making a final decision. (In my experience, significant changes often start occurring after about 30-40 hours.) If you can, play them during the workday--and all night, too, if possible--at moderate volume (FM radio is a good source). The most noticeable improvements over time usually will be smoother, less ragged sounding female vocals and string instruments.

    Happy listening!

    PS: A terrific selection of speaker stands is available from the good folks at Audioadvisor.com. Obtain stands for the front main speakers that elevate the tweeter to seated ear height or slightly higher.
     
  5. PeteMum

    PeteMum New Member

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    Thanks everyone for your input, tomorrow I will check out some other hi-fi stores in town.
    After some more research, I am really interested in the Paradigm and Axiom lines of speakers. Anyone have any comments on the difference between the two.

    For the Paradigms I am thinking:
    Fronts: Titans
    Center: CC170
    Surrounds: ADP-170
    Rear Channel: Atom

    For the Axioms I am thinking:
    Fronts: M3ti
    Center: VP100
    Surrounds: QS4
    Rear Channel: QS4

    Keep in mind I have a $1000-$1200 budget for the speakers (minus the sub for 6.1 channel)

    Thanks
     
  6. Al Garay

    Al Garay Well-Known Member

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    If you have a Costco around, go check to see if they have a 5.1 setup using Kef speakers.
     
  7. John Gates

    John Gates Well-Known Member

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    For that budget, you can do extremely well purchasing online only speakers (direct from manufacturer, no middle man).

    Check out http://www.cheaphometheater.com for a good review and shootout.

    Personally, I bought nOrh 4.0's. For $850, you can get 5, and I think for the money there is no better-sounding HT speaker available anywhere. IMO. :)

    nOrh speakers have a very odd shape (http://www.norh.com). My wife and I both love them, and they are fantastic conversation pieces. They sound extremely smooth, and the off-axis response and sound-stage are better than anything I've ever heard in the price range. I dare not even suggest selling the nOrh speakers or my wife will have my head.

    I have not heard the Ascend CBM-series, but those are also highly regarded. Axiom makes excellent speakers for the $$, and the M3Ti is outstanding (though the nOrh 4.0 is better, IMO). Onyx Rockets are also highly regarded.

    These are all mail-order-only brands, so you have to buy on trial and risk return shipping. I did some asking around to find owners before I bought, and I listened in their houses. I did this with both nOrh and SVS before purchasing.

    Good luck, and have fun!

    John G
     
  8. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Well-Known Member

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    All the companies you are considering have quality products. I'm an unabashed Ascend Acoustics(acendascoustics.com) fan. Go to the site and read the reviews. Keeping under $1K will not be a problem. The 170s picked up for a secondary system quickly replaced Paradigm Mini-Monitors in the main system at my house.
     

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