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Advice on speakers under $5000 and $10K total


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18 replies to this topic

#1 of 19 OFFLINE   Filiberto

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Posted June 03 2003 - 06:31 AM

I'm planning my Home theater of about 20 x 25 Ft. but a this time I'm very confused reading reviews, articles, awards from one and other models and brands. As I'm not in the USA I can't go to try different equipments to make a decission. That is why I need advise of all of you to decide what to buy. I was thinking in a Onkyo SR800 or Denon 3803; both in the order of $900-1100 as audio/video receiver; Definitive Technology speakers BP 2002TL mains, 2500 center and BPX surround. As the Onkyo is a 7.1 must be necessary two more speakers. But again, this just a first approach! Then, I need the CD/DVD player to complete the basic system. I will appreciate all your help!

#2 of 19 OFFLINE   Jon_Welker

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Posted June 03 2003 - 07:32 AM

Filiberto, You could get 100 different recommendations from 100 different people when these questions are thrown out for discussion. From what I have seen and heard, you should be fine with either the Denon or the Onkyo. I haven't done any critical listening to either receiver, but you would find that the majority of owners like these receivers. If you're plunking down $1000 on a receiver, you're going to get a high quality piece no matter who the manufacturer. Can't really go wrong with Denon, H/K, Elite, Onkyo, Yamaha, Sony, Marantz, etc. in that price range. They will all have a few different bells and whistles here and there. Make yourself a spreadsheet with a list of must have features (5.1, 6.1, 7.1, inputs/outputs, etc.), a list of nice to have features (video upconversion, automatic calibration, etc.), and a list of maybe I will/maybe I won't features (USB port) and try ranking them that way. As for the speakers, I did audition some Def Tech's last fall, and I really liked them for movie surround sound. They filled the room nicely. I didn't like them as much for music, but, hey, that's my opinion. I ended up with some NHT T5's, M5 center channel, and some NHT CS 8.3 surrounds for approx. $3400. They met my criteria for sounding excellent for both music and movies, and I wouln't trade them for anything in the price category (or a couple of categories above). My short list also contained a Paradigm Studio setup and a B&W CDM 7NT setup. Hope this helps and best of luck.
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#3 of 19 OFFLINE   Filiberto

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Posted June 03 2003 - 07:46 AM

Jon: Thank you very much. Your opinion confirm me that Onkyo and Denon will work properly; the same with speakers: every people confirm that Definitive Tech are superlative for surround theater but not so great for music. Thanks again!

#4 of 19 OFFLINE   Rich:Fi

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Posted June 03 2003 - 07:57 AM

Filiberto, I'm looking to stay under $10,000 for a nice home theater setup as well. I plan to stick the most money into my speakers so I won't have future "ugrade-itis" in that regard. It seems to me that this will provide an easier, less expensive path to separates down the road if I desire. I really like the Pioneer VSX-49TXi reciever. You should be able to find it for about $1800 - $2200 used and $2400 - 2800 new. The Denon 3803 is also a nice, less expensive choice. My wife and I simply preferred the feature set of the Pioneer as they both sound nice. As for speakers, I really like the KEF Reference Series. You should be able to get a used set consisting of a pair each of 203s and 201s and a 202c for about $5,500. Alternatively, the new KEF XQ series can be purchased immediately without having to work through the used marketplace. The XQs also sound very nice - the imaging is especially good in a home theatre environment. A pair of XQ5s and XQ3 with a XQ2c would also run about $5,500 assuming you get a reasonable dealer. The MSRP of the same XQ speakers is $6,450. Good luck with your decision!

#5 of 19 OFFLINE   Jon_Welker

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Posted June 03 2003 - 09:52 AM

Hey, I'll support that recommendation for the KEF XQ series! I was in Ultimate Electronics yesterday, browsing through some of their showrooms, and it was the first time (out of about 100) that I ever stopped to see which speakers they had playing in one of their rooms. They were the smaller XQ bookshelf model, but they did sound sweet, and yes, a very nice sound indeed! Note, that I did just listen to music on them.
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#6 of 19 OFFLINE   Filiberto

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Posted June 03 2003 - 11:12 AM

Rich:Fi: I appreciate your comments and will check for the Pioneer and KEF speakers. By the way, as I'm in Guatemala, a central american country, I must be away from used equipment: no returns, high freight expenses, import taxes, no easy warranty etc. $2,500 for the amplifier plus $5,500 for the speakers set, let me some bucks for the DVD/CD player and cables! Then, can be a good option because I agree with you...no upgrades for the next five years... at least!!!

#7 of 19 OFFLINE   Andrew Pezzo

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Posted June 03 2003 - 02:42 PM

I have a AVR-3803, BP2006TL's, CLR2300, and ProMonitor 80's as surrounds. I am very happy with that combo. Had I more funds I would have gotten 2002's and CLR2500. I agree that they are much better suited for movies but that is 90% of my listening so it works well for me. I think the BP Surrounds would be better though but I needed a stand mounted speaker, couldnt wall mount it.

#8 of 19 OFFLINE   Rich:Fi

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Posted June 03 2003 - 02:48 PM

Jon - I'm surprised they had the XQs at Ultimate Electronics. Their sister stores in Minnesota (Audio King) only carry the Q and Reference Series. I really hope they get the XQs soon as it would be great to listen the XQs next to the References to make a comparison.

#9 of 19 OFFLINE   Rich:Fi

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Posted June 03 2003 - 02:54 PM

Filiberto, As I see it you've got $2,000 left for the Pioneer DV-47Ai DVD player, an inexpensive subwoofer, 12 gauge speaker wire and bookstands. All kidding aside, I think you can find the KEFs in South America. You really should try to find a place to listen to them. I've compared them to a lot of speakers including the B&Ms and Klipschs and keep coming back to the KEFs. If you are trying to stay within your budget, I would splurge on the speakers and perhaps go with your Denon 3803 reciever for now. It's a lot cheaper to upgrade your receiver than trying to replace all the speakers in a 5.1 or 7.1 home theater setup. The Denon should have enough power to drive the speakers and will sound nice for the time being.

#10 of 19 OFFLINE   Jon_Welker

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Posted June 03 2003 - 02:55 PM

Rich, As far as I can tell and from what I have heard about Ultimate is that they will have to carry pretty much the entire KEF lineup. I double-checked their site, and, yep, it was the XQ1 that I heard up there. They also had the XQ1's bigger brothers in some of the other rooms. Not cheap though. I believe the XQ1 was $700 something/ea. Also, the one I saw had more of a blue finish to it. Looked swanky and sounded good at the same time.
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#11 of 19 OFFLINE   Gordon Groff

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Posted June 04 2003 - 06:24 AM

I am overwhelmingly pleased with my full Rocket 7.1 setup w/SVS Ultra sub driven with a Denon 3803 receiver. I also happen to have two extra power amps for the three fronts, but have no doubt the Denon would be able to push these without them. This would be in your budget. It looks great, too! (pictures in my sig link) If you get a chance to audition Rockets, do so. Go to Audioenvy.com to find audition locations near you. Gordon
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#12 of 19 OFFLINE   Rich:Fi

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Posted June 04 2003 - 07:58 AM

DJ_JonnyV, I'm glad they will be carrying the full KEF line. I very much look forward to it. Here is the MSRP for the KEF XQ series: XQ5 - $1,500 each XQ3 - $1,000 each XQ2c - $1,450 each XQ1 - I'm not sure $700 to $750 each sounds about right though. I think you must have looked at the Silver finish. The other colors offered in the XQ series are: Graphite, Pearlescent White, Maranello Red and Maple.

#13 of 19 OFFLINE   Mark Dickerson

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Posted June 04 2003 - 09:29 AM

Filberto:

While I really like the KEF Reference Series speakers, for your budget I would go a different way. Specifically, I would go with separates rather than spend so much money for just a receiver. Look at the Outlaw combo or a Rotel combo. Then, I would go with a Magnapan Home Theater (check it out at www. magnapan.com) for your large room. Get the Magnapan 3.6s for your front speakers, the CC3 center channel speaker, and either a pair of MG 12s or MGMC1s for the rear. The whole system (with electronics) should cost about $8000 and I believe it will sound better than any receiver based system anyone can think of for under $10K. That is my opinion anyways. The Magnapans are planar speakers and they simply sound better, and more realistic, than any cone speaker I have ever heard. And I have heard a lot!

I have a pair of the smallest Magnapans (the MMGs) and I am constantly having people over who marvel at the sound. The bigger magnapans sound even better.

#14 of 19 OFFLINE   Alex Prosak

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Posted June 04 2003 - 09:49 AM

Filberto, I agree with Mark that for the amount your looking at spending, separates is the way to go. I've just put together a system with a similar budget and I'm ecstatic about it. I went with the Outlaw 950/7100, an Onix Rocket system as Gordon mentioned (750,200,300,150), Denon DVD-2900 DVD player, and a soon to arrive SVS PB-2+ sub. IMHO, this is an excellent HT and music system. I also happen to own a pair of older Magnepans in a separate 2 channel system. The Maggies have a presence like no other speaker I've heard except Martin Logan. I really love my Maggies too. My system, including cables and stand, came in at just over $8k. If I had $10k to spend like you, I'd seriously consider the Magnepan HT.

#15 of 19 OFFLINE   FrantzM

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Posted June 04 2003 - 12:42 PM

Hi Late in the post, i second the Magnepan recommendation. I would suggest: the MG 1.6 QR around $1,700.oo CC3 at around $900.oo MG 1.2 at around 1,200.00 for the rear A pair of powered subwoofers (SVS?) capapble of high, low distortion output clean output $2500. Go Separates, I would suggest Sunfire, I do not know Outlaw Frantz Port-au-Prince, Haiti

#16 of 19 OFFLINE   Torgny Nilsson

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Posted June 04 2003 - 06:24 PM

I recently replaced my entire system. After listening to many of the main brands, and doing a LOT of research, I decided to try the internet brands (not without some concern as I was a firm believer in listening to any audio equipment before buying it). I ended up getting five EFE speakers (two CS-60s and 3 CS-22s for about $3,800), an Outlaw 950 receiver/pre-amp and five of Outlaw's Monoblock amps (about $2,800), and SVS 25-31 PC+ sub, and a Yamaha DVD/CD player (about $500). Even though the Outlaw system has 7.1, I bought EFE's 5.1 processor which is simply astonishing. I could not be happier with this system and do not forsee having to upgrade it. I believe that getting the same performace from more mainstream brands would have cost at least four times as much. And as these are all internet brands, they can probably ship to you in South America without much trouble. But don't take my word on these brands. Check out comments and reviews on these brands on this site and others. While you might have a hard time listening to them in advance, I can't imagine that you'd regret buying them even without listening to them first. And those are words I never thought I would use regarding audio equipment.

#17 of 19 OFFLINE   Lam Nguyen

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Posted June 05 2003 - 04:52 AM

So many options, I recommend B&W CDM7NT or Paradigm Studio speakers. I would go with a combo from Rotel or Outlaw, these setups would be good for movies and music. I own B&W 7NT and Rotel and couldn't be happier, these two setup are worth a look when you're looking this much amount of money. Good Luck

#18 of 19 OFFLINE   Filiberto

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Posted June 05 2003 - 02:11 PM

Hello nice people of all over USA and Haiti!

I'm really impressed by the positive attitude of all of you, giving me the gift of your experience and wisdom! Of course, before posting my question I was a little confused but today I'm even more!. But looking it since the positive way, I have learned more, I needed to go to investigate on every recommendation, brand, model, system etc. Is a nice home work! After all, all the choosing experience is something priceless and if you like the matter, of course you enjoyed it!

OK. I'm making my homework. From my starting point on Onkyo SR-800 and definitive Technology BP2002TL speakers I have investigated more brands and model than I never imagine...and I like it!

By the way, the site www.audioreview.com is a good one with a lot of customers reviews

Best wishes for all of you, folks!

FilibertoPosted Image Posted Image

#19 of 19 OFFLINE   Jon_Welker

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Posted June 05 2003 - 03:36 PM

Filiberto, Just remember one thing about audioreview.com, this site, and any other forum or review site where any joe can post comments/reviews/analysis on HT equipment - that you never know exactly what the expertise or knowledge is of that person making the post. My general rule of thumb is that if you see the same thing being posted regarding the same make and model on a few different sites, than it should be seriously considered. For example, when looking at receivers I noticed several posts and reviews on several sites regarding the Marantz SR7300 and a hissing problem many units had. It was enough for me to eliminate it from my short list. Don't take everything you see posted as Gospel.
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