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Expensive Speaker Suggestions

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34 replies to this topic

#1 of 35 OFFLINE   Ken Burkstrum

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Posted December 20 2003 - 08:59 AM

i was going to get a subwoofer first but i've decided to push back on it for awhile. I've been saving up money for this since 1997 and have no problem paying the shipping cost just to audition them. Excluding a subwoofer i need 5.1 setup suggestions, i was willng to go to $6,000 for all 5 channels, but thats about how much im willing to spend just for fronts if there truly amazing, i'd say my budget is about...10-12k, depending on what happens i may buy the fronts and center then buy the rears after i payed for most of my speakers. I dont know alot of brands with really high end speakers the only i've found so far that im interested in is KEF. I was thinkin maybe Model 205 for fronts, 201 for rears and the 203x for a center, if i got that i would have to put my current fronts as rears until i could buy the 201's. I have ALOT of money that i've been saving up because i have been such a home theater addict but never got anything cause i knew the longer i saved the better speakers i could get and be a very very happy man. A couple of weeks ago i bought a B&K Ref 50 and a 200.7 amp to start it off and was gonna wait awhile before i got new speakers but i cant wait any longer.

#2 of 35 OFFLINE   Chuck Schilling

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Posted December 20 2003 - 09:12 AM

Martin Logan Prodigy Surely the most incredible loudspeaker I've ever heard.

#3 of 35 OFFLINE   gregD


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Posted December 20 2003 - 09:27 AM

Lucky you! In any price range, make it a point to audition as many makes as possible... of all components in the chain, loudspeakers vary the most in sound characteristics. With the budget you have at your disposal, give a listen to speakers by Dali, Vandersteen, Vienna Acoustics, Totem Acoustic, JM Lab, Aerial Acoustics, Sonus Faber, Proac.

#4 of 35 OFFLINE   ChrisLazarko


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Posted December 20 2003 - 09:41 AM

Well Ken that's a big budget. At that price range I don't really stop anything is stopping you from buying almost any speaker out there on the market. I would look all around at stuff. Paradigm, Infinity, Klipsch, Monitor, PSB, and the list keeps going. I would suggest going to an audio store and listening to all these speakers, remember that the most expensive is not always the best. Buy what you think sounds the best to you. Good luck with your decision.

#5 of 35 OFFLINE   Holger


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Posted December 20 2003 - 08:36 PM

ken, well i can't tell you what do you like or not. i have definitive technology speakers and i'm 100% happy with them. i wouldn't consider to buy a different brand even if i was a millionnair and could buy whatever i want. i might can give you only one good advise: if you are a REALLY surround buff, start your search looking for a VERY GOOD center channel. it is usually no problem to add great speakers to a center channel but vice versa it is very often. to many people bought really good and expensive stereo speakers, only to find out later, the company don't offers a centerspeaker that can match the quality of their fronts. this can be a serious problem, since the center channel is IMO by far the most important speaker in a high quality home theater. (well in every ht actually) of course if you are mostly interested in stereo reproduction then start with the fronts, go for good surrounds and put center and sub on the end of your shopping list. regards, holger
Wer glaubt daß Anrufbeantworter Anrufe beantworten, glaubt auch daß Zitronenfalter Zitronen falten.

#6 of 35 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles



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Posted December 20 2003 - 08:51 PM

Greg's list is a good start. Listen to everything you possibly can. The presentation of different speakers is very different. Finding what is best for you for music is important. I would also add Dynaudio to that list. There are other brands out there as well that I'm sure you should pursue. Just audition very thoroughly, and really get familiar with all kinds of speakers.

#7 of 35 OFFLINE   Kenneth Harden

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Posted December 20 2003 - 09:01 PM

That is great advice. If you are really serious about home theater, look for a good center channel speaker/a company that makes systems for home theater.

However, if you can have three of the same speakers in the front, you are good to go Posted Image

#8 of 35 OFFLINE   Holger


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Posted December 20 2003 - 10:53 PM

yes, three identical speakers in the front are great, but not always the best solution. i'd say it looks something strange or - at least - something needs getting used to, if you put the third 50" floorstanding speaker on top of your tv :wink: Posted Image

even if you have a front projection system, the center channel would require a perforated screen, which is not preferable in terms of cost (might be no issue) and in terms of lightloss/reflection. ( always an issue)

regards, holger
Wer glaubt daß Anrufbeantworter Anrufe beantworten, glaubt auch daß Zitronenfalter Zitronen falten.

#9 of 35 OFFLINE   Shane Morales

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Posted December 21 2003 - 02:05 AM

I 2nd the Martin Logan Prodigy. Also B&W Nautalis 802/803. I haven't heard a lot of speakes, but those two are best I've heard.

#10 of 35 OFFLINE   Alan Pummill

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Posted December 21 2003 - 03:05 AM

Listen to some Magneplanar Speakers. I just bought the set-up....awesome!!

#11 of 35 OFFLINE   Dustin B

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Posted December 21 2003 - 03:07 AM

The ServoDrive SPL-Runt should fit within that budget. Their website is http://www.servodrive.com. You should get in touch with them and see if they have any qualified installers near you. The thing that makes these so impressive is the summation apperature horn that Tom Danley of ServoDrive now has a patent on.

Another option in this price range that would be high on my list would be the GR-Research AlphaLS. Brian Bunge at Rutledge Audio could build you 5 of them with that budget. And Danny of GR-Research is willing to do costum design work for a matching center if you can't do an acoustically transparent screen.

For subs there is the ServoDrive B-DEAP or ContraBass. Rutledge Audio could build you some killer subs utilizing the Adire Tumult driver. Final option on the sub front would be to choose an appropriate driver, buy 4-18 of them and get a contractor of some sort to build a mainfold for them in your room to make an infinite baffle sub (http://www.f20.parsi...net/forum36475/).
Constant Area Screen - The Only Way To Go

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#12 of 35 OFFLINE   Paul D. K.

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Posted December 21 2003 - 03:19 AM

Ken - I would second Shane's suggestion. In addition, the B&W HTM1 is a great center speaker (it's designed to go with the either the 802's or 803's in the front). I currently am running 803's and the HTM1 in the front. I'm going to have either 803's or 804's in the back but received a lot of positive feedback in favor of 805's for rears (see my post from 12/19). I'm upgrading to the Ref. 50 and amplifiers this week. Good luck. It'll be interesting to hear what speakers you decide on.

#13 of 35 OFFLINE   Tom Fynan

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Posted December 21 2003 - 05:40 AM


I would recommend that you audition some Magnepan speakers before you buy anything. I listened to KEFs and Maggies about 10 years ago, and ended up with Maggies. In your budget, a pair of Maggie 3.6's for fronts, and their MCMC1s and MGCC for surround and center channel will buy you sound that will put most other systems to shame. I run that setup with a Proceed DVD player, PAV and amps, and I am amazed at the sound every time I listen. I can't recommend Maggies strongly enough. The only warning, once you hear planar speakers, you can never go back to boxes.Posted Image

Tom Fynan

#14 of 35 OFFLINE   Erik_C


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Posted December 21 2003 - 06:32 AM

Just last week I bought a pair of JM Lab Micro Utopias. Paired with my Velodyne 18" and my Anthem AVM 20 v.2.1, it's an incredible combo. Nothing I've ever heard comes close to sounding as good as they do, and I've heard a lot of very well-renowned speakers. JM Labs aren't the easiest speakers to find to audition, but for the amount of coin you're gonna drop on new speakers, don't buy without trying to find a pair of JM Lab Micro or Mini Utopias to listen to. -Erik

#15 of 35 OFFLINE   Ken Burkstrum

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Posted December 21 2003 - 07:28 AM

Been speaker huntin downtown, so far i've listened to Bose, Vienna beethovens and mozarts, sonus faber grandpian's, Magnepan 3.6's, Wharfedale EVO's,Diamonds and Zaldaks, Klipsch Reference, Monitor S6 and S8 and Definitive BP7000TL's, Martin Logan Prodigy and Odyssey and KEF Reference series.

What can i say nothing stands up to Bose, should of just went to best buy would of been quicker Posted Image .

Anywho every single speaker sounded good to me, i was overwhelmed to the ceiling i found myself having to be extremely picky and putting together what i thought of the speaker in 100 words in my head. Suprisingly KEF 207 and the Prodigy caught my fancy the most (which is hard to say cause there all to die for, i almost cried), i figured for me it would be a tie between Definitive and Martin Logan but those KEF's i was hoping i'd like them the best specially since they look almost have way normal and practical unless you tell someone the price, i figured i would rule them out for speakers that have drivers on 3 sides. Im goin back tomorrow with some movies the guy told me i should bring but i would say most likely the Logan's because there cheaper.

#16 of 35 OFFLINE   Chuck Schilling

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Posted December 21 2003 - 08:13 AM

ahhhh...another imaging freak!

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#17 of 35 OFFLINE   JamesCB


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Posted December 21 2003 - 02:02 PM


#18 of 35 OFFLINE   Joe Hsu

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Posted December 21 2003 - 02:04 PM

Without busting your budget, I would also suggest auditioning a pair of Dynaudio Contour 1.4s for your fronts, with the complementary (not free Posted Image) front and surrounds. It would be just about $6K for those 5 speakers, which would fit your initial budget quite well.

#19 of 35 OFFLINE   DanielG



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Posted December 21 2003 - 02:46 PM

I live in Chicago and wanted to find a place to audition JM Lab speakers but was unable to find a place. Anyone have any idea if there is a dealer in the Chicago area?

#20 of 35 OFFLINE   DavidLW


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Posted December 21 2003 - 03:05 PM

You can't go wrong with the M.L. Prodigy. Specially if you want to listen to high quality stereo music later on.

However, if you're going to consider Bose, hang around a Best Buy parking lot and look for the guy selling speakers out of a white van. You may save yourself a hundred bucks or so, for the same sound. Posted Image

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