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what to buy with $1500?


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18 replies to this topic

#1 of 19 PeterN

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Posted February 28 2004 - 05:00 PM

I'm trying to help a friend put together a decent 5.1 setup for around $1500 (5 speakers & sub). His living area is pretty small right now but will be moving into a larger one soon. I don't have exact specs of the new room, but lets just say its an average living room. He listens to a lot of classical and pop/rock. 50-50 on music/movies. Speakers must be black and would prefer to be something we can go demo. I'm in Dallas and pretty much have all the major brands near us.

A few of these came to the top of my head...

-Paradigm
-NHT
-Def Tech

Any help would greatly be appreciated...

(fyi, will prolly power these with a Denon 1804)

#2 of 19 robert_delpozo

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Posted February 28 2004 - 05:24 PM

check out the axioms, they are a great buy for the $$$

#3 of 19 Mark gas

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Posted February 28 2004 - 10:13 PM

http://www.paradigm.com/

good speakers at a good price.

I picked up a pair of titans and CC-170 center for under 500 canadan. You can get the micro's for rears for around $150 and spend the rest on a SV,HSU or somthing custom.

#4 of 19 Chris Quinn

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Posted February 29 2004 - 12:25 AM

Ascend Acoustics would be another good choice in this price range. You can check the AscendForum for to see if there is anyone in the Big D area willing to let you listen. Otherwise shipping is likely a wash, if ordering just one pair for trial, with what it costs to drive your car all over the place. The customer direct companies also give you thirty day trials in your home with your equipment.

#5 of 19 Nhan_H

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Posted February 29 2004 - 02:08 AM

Peter,

Are you looking for bookshelves or floorstanders? In addition to all the nice speakers already mentioned. I'll add some Rockets (AV123.com) and HTD (hometheaterdirect.com) into the mix. I think the Rocket package 7 and the UFW-10 sub would be around your price range. Or the ELT packaged with the UFW-10, instead of the ELT sub. They also can package these speakers with the Denon 1804 you mentioned, so you can probably save a few bucks there, also, if you don't already have that receiver.

Both of these are internet direct companies, so they would be able to provide you some savings over B&M speakers. Like Chris mentioned, there are various ascend/axiom/rocket/HTD owners in the DFW area that would be willing to give you a demo. BTW, I am a Rocket owner.

You can check with their respective forums and ask for in-home demos, or you can try audioenvy.com to setup the same. It's probably quicker thru the forum.

The HTD speakers are in Allen, TX (north Dallas area). Their Level 4 speakers might be in your price range. I have a pair of Level 4s and Level 3s in my home for some comparison demo this weekend. So far, they sound really good and are outstanding values.

#6 of 19 DonJ

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Posted February 29 2004 - 08:11 PM

I think you could do Paradigm Mini Monitor front and rears CC370 and a PS1000 for around $1,500.00. Great bang for the buck and don't let the small mains scare you the have plenty of sound. Enough to fill a good size room and have plenty of low end extension. Plus they are very clean in the mids and highs. They sound the cleanest to me in the Monitor range.

My system.
Main-Monitor 9's V2
Rears-Mini Monitors V2
Center-CC370 V2
Sub-PW2200 V3

OBTW I wouldn't use a Denon on the Digms. The Digms are a forward speaker and adding a Denon to them would make the seem bright. I would suggest an HK receiver, they are a little laid back and sound real nice with the Digms
I'm still typing with a broke hand and it sucks.

#7 of 19 PeterN

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Posted March 01 2004 - 01:50 AM

I think I'm leaning towards the minis/cc370/ps1000. It fits the price range and I've actually heard them before. Thanks for all the replies.

-peter

#8 of 19 Marty M

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Posted March 01 2004 - 01:57 AM

I would also like to recommend the Paradigm Mini/CC 370 combination. This would allow him to upgrade to say the Monitor 7s for the front and keep the Minis as suurounds without losing any timbre matching. I have been pleased with Paradigm Monitors for over five years.
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#9 of 19 Eric_Bender

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Posted March 01 2004 - 03:37 AM

If you are looking for a clean, clear and neutral tone, check out Boston Acoustics. Their reference series speakers and subs are worth listening to. I have an older pair of A150s and have never found the need to replace them. I have also listened to the refernce series and found them to be very natural in sound.

#10 of 19 Aaron Oppliger

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Posted March 01 2004 - 03:27 PM

Since nobody has chimed in to support NHT, I'll be their cheerleader for today.

I'm currently running their Evolution system with two T5 towers and an M5 unit for the center. It's a very strong system and provides finer imaging and clearer highs and lows than just about anything I've ever seriously listened to (well, other than some $20,000 speakers that I'm never going to own). The Evolution series is probably out of the $1500 limit, but you should seriously consider their "super" series if you can find them for a good price. My brother and some other friends are running their 2.5i towers along with Super 1's for surrounds and Audio Center 2's for the center, and they are amazing speakers that you could pick up for close to $1500 these days.

To give a direct comparison, I had been using a system made up of 2 Paradigm Phantoms for mains, a CC-300 for the center, and 2 ADP-170s for surrounds. While they provided strong bass and good highs, the mids were muddy and clarity was sometimes a little sloppy. I used this system for 8 years, and it was good for home theater, but only ok for music. The NHTs take both home theater and music to a completely different level.

Do a web search for some reviews and you'll see that NHT is almost universally revered for their clarity and "honesty" when it comes to both movies and music. While they may cost a bit more than the Paradigms, you'll be very, very pleased. Plus, they look really nice and get a big thumbs up from wives and girlfriends.

#11 of 19 PeterN

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Posted March 02 2004 - 02:12 AM

Aaron, thanks for chiming in. I've only heard the NHT's 1 time. From what I recall, they sounded very clear and detailed. I didn't get to listen to my own music or demo a movie. My friend has a Mits tv that has that gloss black cabinet. I thought the 2 would look very "classy" together.

I'm gonna get him to check them out this weekend.

Thanks for all the replies.

#12 of 19 Charles Gurganus

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Posted March 02 2004 - 03:36 AM

I'll chime in on the NHT's as well. Used would be a good way to go but you need to know does he want towers or does he prefer bookshelf or smaller?

For new NHT's you should check out the SB3/SB2's/SB1's. You could get SB3's for the front, sb2's for the rear, plus the matching center for about $1000. Use the rest for a nice sub like the Adire Rava ($400 and looks nice), one of the HSU's or SVS's subs.
Charles

#13 of 19 PeterN

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Posted March 02 2004 - 03:50 AM

I think he wants to go with bookshelves. Do you think 4 sb2's would work or would it be better to go 2 sb3 + 2 sb1?

#14 of 19 Cory_W

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Posted March 02 2004 - 03:58 AM

On that budget (or any budget) I would go with Klipsch.
He can get 2 RB-15 (L/R)$299 pr 1 RC-25 © $279 EA 2- RS-25 (Rear Surrounds) $199 EA and 1 RW-10 (Sub) $500...grand total for this great system $1476... The value for the quality can not be beat!

#15 of 19 PeterN

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Posted March 02 2004 - 04:01 AM

I have also thought of that exact same klipsch setup. I will definately let him listen to them, just not sure if he will like the "bright" sound.

#16 of 19 Charles Gurganus

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Posted March 02 2004 - 05:21 AM

Peter, if he is a big fan of music and music will be played often, I'd go with the SB3's up front and then whatever the budget will allow for the other 3 speakers. If music is of no concern, 4 SB1's or SB2's would be fine plus that would allow more for a better/bigger sub.

With NHT (and especially Klipsch) you want to stay away from real bright receivers. What receiver will he use?
Charles

#17 of 19 Ed_A

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Posted March 02 2004 - 05:35 AM

Quote:
I think I'm leaning towards the minis/cc370/ps1000. It fits the price range and I've actually heard them before. Thanks for all the replies.


Nice. I run minis/cc370/atoms and am very happy. The good thing for you is that there are many bookshelf speaker choices in this price range. As others have mentioned you may also want to consider Axiom (M22ti or M3ti), Ascend (CBM-170/CMT-340 have received excellent reviews), and PSB (Image 2B's). The list goes on with NHT, Rockets, but you have to stop somewhere....

I would also recommend considering an SVS instead of the ps1000. I have an SVS and am very happy. That's one piece of equipment that I really like.

Good luck.
Ed

#18 of 19 Aaron Oppliger

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Posted March 02 2004 - 12:37 PM

I agree with Ed. Check out some non-Paradigm subs. The Paradigms are excellent for movies, where you just want a loud, strong boom. They fall apart with music though, because they're just too boomy and not very tight or defined. Hsu Research makes some nicely priced subs, but you probably won't be able to test one out before hand since I think they're only offered through the internet. I've heard great things about SVS, too, but can't give you any direct advice on them.

#19 of 19 PeterN

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Posted March 02 2004 - 01:22 PM

I can't wait til the weekend is over so I can give you guys an update.

Thanks again for all the advice. I keep getting new ideas to propose.