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If not Bose, then what?

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#1 of 41 OFFLINE   TomA



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Posted September 24 2003 - 01:58 AM

OK, so I'm new at this and apparently I'm one of those novices that thought that Bose was very good. Please don't shoot! I haven't bought anything yet! Fortunately, I've begun research and that's how I found this forum. What I'm looking for is some advice from some of you who are more knowledgeable than me in the HT arena. Specifically I'm looking for a surround speaker system for under $1,000. I already have a receiver (Panasonic SA-HE100). One of the deciding factors for selecting this receiver was that it ranked #1 in Consumer Reports and it retails for $300. Don't have a fancy TV yet, that will come in another year or so, but I do have a 27" stereo TV. One of the reasons the Bose Acoustimass 10 appealed to me was the speaker size. The wife is fighting me all of the way on this because she doesn't want big speakers on the floor or tables and if they are on the wall they must be SMALL. So can anyone point me to a few speaker systems to check out that fit my description? I don't know where to start! FYI, I enjoy good sound, but I'm not going to sit around trying to pick out all of the nuances and flaws of any system. I just want to enjoy some movies and music. The room size is approximately 12x16 joined to an open kitchen of approximately 8x16. Thanks

#2 of 41 OFFLINE   MarcianoD



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Posted September 24 2003 - 03:06 AM

I have had bose, jvc, kenwood, nad, and Sony. my preference is Sony was the best out of all I had. I am by no means experienced or as knowledgable as others here. But I have found I like Sony the best out of all I have tried.

#3 of 41 OFFLINE   dan-0


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Posted September 24 2003 - 03:20 AM

Are you looking for a 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 system?

I will assume a 5.1 system for now. For home theatre I have enjoyed the NHT superzeroes or superones, coupled with a good sub.

I've pieced together the following NHT system for my HT off ebay, audiogon, and new from factory. I bought only speakers that were advertised as mint, and all did come that way.

(2) NHT superzero XU, stands, and super center (center speaker) - $300 (buy it now)

(2) NHT superzero with wall mounts - $155 (buy it now)

(1) HSU VTF-2 sub - $499 new

That's for a total of $954. That leaves you $46 for cables. The superzeros should also satisfy the 'wife acceptance factor' (WAF) as they measure only 5" by 9".

I'm waiting for a nice pair of white NHT superzeores to come along to complete my 7.1 system.

Now this is my system and enjoy it for movies and am satisfied with it for music. You will notice that the system a person is currently using tends to be the system they would recommend, and I am no exception. However, this is a nice system that you could get for your price range.

Some links:

NHT Superzero reviews

HSU VTF-1 reviews

NHT Homepage for vintage products

HSU Homepage

#4 of 41 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles



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Posted September 24 2003 - 03:52 AM

check out the paradigm cinema series also. Quite nice indeed. Find a dealer and go listen, listening is the key.

#5 of 41 OFFLINE   ChrisLazarko


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Posted September 24 2003 - 03:56 AM

Well I used to own a Panasonic reciever myself, although not a bad piece of equipment it ended up somehow busting itself. Anyways, as for speakers. If size is a definant factor and you don't want anything much bigger than the Blose Acoustimess stuff and want them to be able to hang on the walls I would have to say look at Klipsch. The Klipsch Quintets are an excellent product.

I currently own the Quintets myself, and they run for about $375 at bestbuy which is 5 speakers, a subwoofer is another seperate issue, but I might go with one that is about $300 at least.

Two choices I would recommend for subwoofers are the Klipsch Synergy 10" for $399 at Bestbuy or the Athena 8" Audition series for $299 at Bestbuy. For the price they both aren't bad subwoofers and they will save you time by just shopping in one place instead of several.

Overall I think you would be able to find a nice setup for about $650 or so at Bestbuy includes 5 speakers and a subwoofer. So it will put you about $300-350 below what you wanted... some more money for your pocket...


There is the link for the Quintet speakers.

#6 of 41 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted September 24 2003 - 04:35 AM

My current recommendation for the under $1,000 package is the Rocket ELT system for $900.

It has four satellites, a very fine center channel and a 200 watt, powered subwoofer. All done in very nice cherry-stained birch.

I listened to this system at Dallas and think that it excellent for HT and will double nicely for music.

I do not own this system but I do own some AV123 products.
¡Time is not my master!

#7 of 41 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted September 24 2003 - 06:36 AM

There is a line of speakers from Gallow Acoustics (www.roundsound.com) that offers softball-sized speakers. These speakers have been on Stereophile Guide to Home Theater recommended list.

I think a full set (without subwoofer) runs about $1100, but I'm not up on current prices. But check out the link and see if they are Spousal Acceptiable.

Remind her that you CAN get small speakers - but the prices are usually higher.

#8 of 41 OFFLINE   JamesCB


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Posted September 24 2003 - 07:26 AM

Small like Blose?

Look into Cambridge Soundworks. Nice small speakers, respectable sound quality, cheap. I only have the Soundworks system on my computer, but, pretty amazing sound quality for such a small system. Of course, don't expect reference level decbels. Also, hifi.com has some good deals on ebay (closeouts and stuff).

#9 of 41 OFFLINE   NicholasL


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Posted September 24 2003 - 07:47 AM

I second Klipsch Quintets, and Cambridge Soundworks. Both excellent products, and not too hard on the wallet.

#10 of 41 OFFLINE   Greg_R



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Posted September 24 2003 - 09:10 AM

JBL's N and S series are great options for the satellites. Look at Hsu and SVS for the subwoofer. Internet direct loudspeakers (like the Rockets, HTDs, & others) are all great options for the $$$.

#11 of 41 OFFLINE   GrahamT


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Posted September 24 2003 - 10:16 AM

I agree with ChrisW. The cinema series from paradigm is small and sounds great, cheap too. I believe that they come in black or white. Check out paradigm.com and look for a dealer.

#12 of 41 OFFLINE   Greg Kolinski

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Posted September 24 2003 - 12:32 PM

How about some of Brian B's little speakers at R.A.D ??I dont remember the name of them,but by the pic on his web site they are very nice looking and $75 each I believe.Some of the nicest looking little speakers around. Greg
The more I learn about this stuff ,the dumber I get

#13 of 41 OFFLINE   Jim Rakowiecki

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Posted September 24 2003 - 02:27 PM

my only advice would be to not be in a hurry. Decide on the criteria you want to use (size, cost etc) and listen to as many spekers as possible and you decide what you like don't be influenced by what someone else likes. Do some research and take you time and find the speakers that are right for you.

#14 of 41 OFFLINE   Bob Kavanaugh

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Posted September 25 2003 - 04:18 PM

I've got Energy Take 5.2's in white. They blend right into the wall, your wife would have to approve of these. Oh yeah, they are great speakers for their size. See my HT link below.

#15 of 41 OFFLINE   Cam_Young



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Posted September 27 2003 - 01:24 AM

Why Do people think that bose is so bad? ive heard all the differnt packeges and they all sound pretty damn good

#16 of 41 OFFLINE   GrahamT


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Posted September 27 2003 - 02:19 AM

Cam, the problem with bose is that they put the money into ads, not r&d and materials. When you pay say $2000, you are buying the equivalent of a $300(maybe) HTIB system. THey use plastic boxes, paper cones, nonremovable grills and they dont publish performance specs in the price range of wood veneers, kevlar cones. Bottom line is you can get much better performance (fact) for much less money from virtually any other manufacturer. This is for the current bose lineup.

#17 of 41 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted September 27 2003 - 09:34 AM

[quote] Why Do people think that bose is so bad?
ive heard all the differnt packeges and they all sound pretty damn good [quote] Bose actually makes some reasonable products and at least one very fine product (their noise-cancelling headphones, which I have used on trans-Pacific flights and think is a very good product indeed).

However in many
cases their marketing costs (which are very high indeed) add so much to the product cost that alternative products often offer a much better value for your money.

Since Bose makes so many products, many of which have little in common with each other, it is a bit difficult to generalize. However, considering their various satellite/AcoustiMass combinations (the little jewel cubes) as an example, the reason that many do not care for them, is that the system as a whole does not reproduce low frequencies very well and is quite poor in the mid-range and lower mid-range.

On the other hand, for some people they are a decorators dream and if that is the most important thing, then it is pretty hard to argue against.

I could (as could many others) write quite a bit on why the cube/acoustimass system is deficient but unless you are really interested it would not be worth the effort.

If this is the system that interests you, I’ll be happy to post my views on request.
¡Time is not my master!

#18 of 41 OFFLINE   Cam_Young



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Posted September 27 2003 - 10:39 AM

Well i only ask because i do sell these bose acoustamass systems and lifestlyes systems and when i here alot of there stuff i think it sounds awesome comparing that with say the JBL SCS System do you think that the JBLs are better? its always hard to tell considering that Bose has about 3 or 4 setups and jbl with one not to adequite one. i just want to help sell them so that my customers dont go home disappointed with the Quality for the price.

#19 of 41 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted September 27 2003 - 10:57 AM

Cam I can’t comment on the JBL SCS system. But basically what sounds best to you is best to you. Ditto for your customers. But for system that I can comment upon, AV123 has available right now a 5.1 system (ELT)consisting of four 2-way satellites, a 3-way, four speaker center and a 200 watt subwoofer, plus a Denon 1804 for $1,250. I have not done an A/B comparison on this configuration against any of the Bose Lifestyle systems, so you need to take that into account in my next statement. This system is very much better than the Lifestyle systems. So much so that if you were to compare trying to hear dialogue in the midst of chaos (consider several scenes from The Matrix or LOTR, you will be able to distinguish words with the ELT center channel that will not be clear with the Bose system. For a few hundred more dollars you can get an Ascend system (coupled with a Hsu subwoofer) that I believe will provide similar results in a comparison (though I do not have extensive experience with these speakers). But neither of these will provide the look of the Bose—they only sound better (to my ears). You need to listen and decide. YMMV.
¡Time is not my master!

#20 of 41 OFFLINE   Andrew Boyd

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Posted September 28 2003 - 04:37 AM

You should show your wife some of the better looking 'bulky' speakers. Speakers aren't the black fiberboard boxes that they once were. Most speakers today will be the best looking thing in someones house. Especially a nice cherry finish.

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