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$1200 for home theatre speakers....


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36 replies to this topic

#1 of 37 OFFLINE   TaylorRankin

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Posted February 04 2003 - 07:31 AM

Hi All, I am, admittedly, new to the audiophile universe. I currently have what would be considered a pretty crappy out of the box home theatre setup (Phillips FR975 Receiver...which is satisfactory, and some Phillips speakers w/ subwoofer that sound OK for movies but not great by any means.) I am going to keep my receiver for now....and concentrate on looking for a more serious, better set of speakers. I would like to spend about $1,200 on new front, center, and surround speakers and though I have looked through this forum enough to know a little about where to start (I know bose is not an option), I would really appreciate some advice. I will use this setup mostly for DVDs, and some music, and they will be in a small to medium sized room. Any advice would be greatly helpful. Thanks, Taylor BTW: I was looking somewhat at Infinity....but dont know what to think of them. Any thoughts on Infinity?

#2 of 37 OFFLINE   Scott McC.

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Posted February 04 2003 - 07:35 AM

Paradigm Monitor series, by far, Mini Monitors as rears run around $300, then monitor threes up front for $400, then a CC370 Center for $300, and add any sub you want, although I'd reccommend a DLS 10, paradigms PDR10 and 12 are superb, albeit putting you over budget.
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#3 of 37 OFFLINE   Haris Ellahi

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Posted February 04 2003 - 07:35 AM

You could get the Klipsch Reference Series 3 speakers.

Klipsch RF-3 II for main speakers.
Klipsch RC-3 II for center speaker.
Klipsch RS-3 II for surround speakers.

For more info, go to www.klipsch.com

#4 of 37 OFFLINE   Carl Mulder

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Posted February 04 2003 - 07:44 AM

I would take a look at paradigm, they have great speakers for the price. monitor series.

#5 of 37 OFFLINE   JeremyFr

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Posted February 04 2003 - 09:12 AM

You could get an Energy Take 5+1 system and a new reciever Like a Yamaha RX-V630 for $1200 and have quite a killer system for a small-medium size room. And the reason I recommend getting a new reciever as well is most systems like Phillips,magnavox etc rate there systems for anywhere between 3ohm to 6ohm loads which means that to put a normal 8ohm speaker on it like you would be buying would not yield a system with very much power and probably end up blowing up the poor Philips reciever.
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#6 of 37 OFFLINE   Chris Quinn

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Posted February 04 2003 - 09:29 AM

How many watts per channel does your receiver put out? Jeremy raises a very good point that you need to find out if it is able to power better speakers. I highly recommend Ascend CBM-170 with Hsu VTF-2 sub(ascendacoustics.com). That will come in under your budget. Cheaphometheater.com is a good resource to familiarize yourself with.

#7 of 37 OFFLINE   MikeMcGrew

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Posted February 04 2003 - 09:46 AM

I would have to suggest the Epic Master package from Axiom. You get their M3ti's for fronts/mains which are very respectable bookshelves. The QS4's which are nice bipolar surrounds and the VP100 center. I really don't know much about the Axiom Subs but with the one offered with this package (175watt/10inch cast basket), your total shipped comes to $1240.00 US. If you check out the Factory direct store at the axiom website here then you can really put together something nice and you are not tied in to the Axiom sub. All the Axiom speakers are timbre matched and they offer a 30 day auditioning period so even if you hate them (which I have never heard of anyone saying they do), you can send them back. The factory direct store offers cheaper prices because of some aesthetic blemishes which are usually negligable. I have read posts on this forum of buyers that couldn't even find the blemish at all but still received the discounted price. Check it out.

#8 of 37 OFFLINE   TaylorRankin

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Posted February 04 2003 - 10:36 AM

Jeremy, My reciever is 5x100w power output and it is rated for 6ohm and greater speakers...so I think it should do fine.... Thanks, Taylor

#9 of 37 OFFLINE   JeremyFr

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Posted February 04 2003 - 10:46 AM

5x100 at 6ohms and knowing Phillips build quality will probably equate to around 40-50 clean watts at 8ohms you can try it but I doubt you'd be very happy with the sound quality no matter what speakers you hooked up to it.
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#10 of 37 OFFLINE   TaylorRankin

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Posted February 04 2003 - 10:56 AM

Well....if anyone has reciever suggestions....let me know those as well.

#11 of 37 OFFLINE   Andy Young

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Posted February 04 2003 - 11:34 AM

I recently purchased Paradigm Phantoms, CC-270, Atoms, and PDR-12 sub for under $1,200. I absolutely couldn't be happier. I did comparisons between Titans (bookshelf), MiniMonitor, Monitor 3/5 (forget which), B&W 600, 601, and 602 speakers. Here was my conclusion: Titans = MiniMonitor = Monitor 3/5 > Atoms = 601 > 600 >> 602 Yes, the B&W 602 sounded the worst. Listened to Jazz 2-channel music on HK transport using Yamaha receiver. This is an excellent example of why you should listen for yourself. Many people hear a significant difference between the Paradigm Monitor series bookshelf speakers and the Performance series Titan speakers. I definitely did not. Similarly, many people prefer B&W. Again, I did not. No one is right and no one is wrong. We just have different ears, likes, and dislikes. If possible, I'd definitely listen to Pardigm speakers. PSB and Axiom are two other names that get brought up a lot. I've never heard either of these brands, though. As for receivers, I bought a Sony way back in 1998 and it is still going strong in my brother's house today. This was right when Dolby Digital was coming out and it was one of the DD-ready units. Solid and sounds good. I upgraded to the Pioneer Elite VSX-26TX in 2000. It, along with most other Elite receivers of this vintage, experienced a severe quality problem and had to be serviced. Love the feature set (DD, DTS, THX Ultra, S-Video switching, plenty of power, easy to calibrate speakers to reference levels, good learning remote, good onscreen menus, attractive unit); hate the quality (was out nearly 6 months waiting for repairs; unit may be starting to fail again after only 6 months back from shop). If I were in the market again, I'd probably steer clear of Pioneer. (My Pioneer DV-525 DVD player has been iffy at times, too -- esp playing CDs.) I'd probably check out Denon, HK, and Sony. Though there are a whole bunch of other good brands out there. Good luck.

#12 of 37 OFFLINE   MatthewK

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Posted February 04 2003 - 11:55 AM

Taylor,
All the above suggestions are good ones. I think the best speaker for you in your home theater may be different from mine and everyone elses.

Speakers have very different sounds and while most people can agree (somewhat) on some "objective" features such as frequency response, build quality, ect. You will find that you personally will enjoy one speakers sound over another.

I didn't believe that at first but have really come to find it is true.

My recommendation is go to a local audio store, if you have one, and listen to the speakers they have there. Find out what you like and dislike about each model in terms of their sound. Come back and post your findings and then people can help you find a match for you even more. Before you go read the article by Alan Loft called "Describing Loudspeaker Sound" (found here) to help you with a vocabulary to use.

When you have found out somewhat more of what you like people can *REALLY* begin to recommend speakers that will fit your tastes!

Personally I have found that I like speakers I would deem are more "laid back" and are not very "bright". My father LOVES his Axiom setup but I find it a little too bright. I am going to be auditioning out some Ascends Acoustics soon. I have very high expectations of them (from what I hear) and hope they will be a perfect match for my ears.

Hope this helps.

Matthew

#13 of 37 OFFLINE   MatthewK

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Posted February 04 2003 - 11:58 AM

Very true! The only caution I would give is IF you get a sony receiver don't get anything below the ES line. I personally have a Sony DA4ES and love it but have heard a lot of complaints with their "lower end" receivers. Matthew

#14 of 37 OFFLINE   MikeMcGrew

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Posted February 04 2003 - 01:35 PM

Yamahas have a great selection of receivers available in all price ranges also. The thing to kind of be careful with is power rating inaccuracies. This is what Jeremy is talking about. Many of the lower end receivers, from most companies, do not actually put out the wattage that they claim and that is what is going to hurt your speakers. Make sure you are getting quoted on the RMS power and not the maximum power. RMS is average power output. Also, see how many channels the power rating is for. If you can find a receiver with a RMS power rating of 100 watts per channel across all (usually 6) channels then you are doing pretty good. Yamaha is pretty good about this as is HK. Sony ES and Pioneer Elites are pretty accurate in the middle price categories (over $300 and under $1500). Also, be careful with warranties. Make sure you purchase from an authorized dealer. If not, then some manufacturers will not honor the warranty (ie. Denon and Yamaha). This can be tricky. As mentioned earlier though, you have to spend the time first and the money second if you want a good set up. You will know what you like and what goes well together. Find a specialty shop if you can that has a decent (30 days is decent/good) return/audition policy and try things out. You can listen to setups all day long in acoustically modified rooms and even Bose can sound pretty good but you won't really know until you get them into your specific environment. Have Fun and Good Luck.

#15 of 37 OFFLINE   Ben_wood

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Posted February 04 2003 - 01:41 PM

I second the recommendation for the Ascend/Hsu combo. Posted Image

#16 of 37 OFFLINE   JeremyFr

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Posted February 04 2003 - 03:02 PM

Taylor please dont think I was trying to say you had a crappy system or nething I was just trying to be helpful. I personally would recommend a Yamaha reciever myself I've got an RX-V730 and its built like a tank & gets more than loud enough for my liking. You can get into there 5.1 recivers for under $400 and get there entry level 6.1 for about 500 which is the RX-V630 that I recommended, its 1 model down from mine the only major differences between the 2 is the 730 has a LCD remote, phono in, and on screen display other than that the 2 are exactly the same reciever. it is a true feature rich powerhouse at its price point, rated at 75 watts per channel X all 6 channels and thats rated very conservitively it will also run low impedance sytems down to at least 4 ohms if not lower.
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#17 of 37 OFFLINE   TaylorRankin

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Posted February 04 2003 - 03:33 PM

Jeremy, All your help (as well as all the other posts) is greatly appreciated....no offense taken. I just want to end up with some good equipment that will last a while. As far as recievers....I am looking into Yamaha. What about the Kenwood VR-6070? Seems to be a nice receiver at around $400. Keep the suggestions coming. They are much appreciated.

#18 of 37 OFFLINE   Frank Carter

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Posted February 04 2003 - 04:07 PM

There's so many choices to consider. Speaker preferences are probably the most subjective piece of audio equipment(I love Klipsch but many can't stand them). Just do your best to demo every brand of speaker you can find.

Here's what I would do if I had your budget:

7.1 Receiver:
Pioneer VSX-D811S $275

Subwoofer:
Adire Audio Rava $399

7 Speakers:
Center/Sides/Surrounds - JBL NSP-1II $279 shipped

Mains - JBL N-26II $139 shipped

This total brings you to $1092 which would leave enough for shipping of the subwoofer and receiver.


#19 of 37 OFFLINE   Mike_Gr

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Posted February 04 2003 - 04:31 PM

I second the recommendations for Paradigm and Axiom. Both are great speakers and you will be able to find a system in your budget from either manufacturer. Personally, I went with Axiom speakers and a Paradigm sub. As far as a receiver, it would help if I knew your budget. But I will add a few comments. I personally avoid Pioneer due to their unreliability. Denon, Harmon Kardon, Yamaha and Marantz are all quality receivers that I recommend people research and listen to. I too was recently in the market for a new receiver. I researched and auditioned different models for around a month straight. It almost drove me nuts! In the end I decided on the Marantz SR7300. I couldn't be happier. Good luck!
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#20 of 37 OFFLINE   Robert_Gaither

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Posted February 04 2003 - 07:29 PM

Of all the ones I've heard (all that appears on the suggestion other than the Axioms) I'd highly recommend the Ascends. Another great brand to choose is the Nht Super Series since they are discontinued and this alone will make them cheap. The Jbl-N series are very good budget speakers and very hard to beat for the price they're going on the net.




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