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Help picking a pair of floorstanding speakers


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23 replies to this topic

#1 of 24 OFFLINE   Agent WD-40

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Posted February 11 2007 - 10:25 AM

I'm looking for some advice on buying some speakers for my home theater. I currently don't own anything so I'm starting fresh. I wanted to start with a pair of floor-standing speakers and then add the sub, center, and surrounds a little later. My first question: How important is it to get "matching" components. I listened to the B&W 704 speakers and really liked them. They were a little more than I wanted to spend at $2200 MSRP. I was hoping to keep it closer $1500. I wouldn't mind spending a bit more on the L+R front speakers if I didn't need to buy the rest of the expensive 700 series center, sub and surround speakers. Would this be a mistake if I didn't stick with the rest of the speakers that matched? What cheaper options would work with the 704's? Second, what other speakers should I consider in the $1500-2000 price range. I will be using my setup for home theater and music. I would put more emphasis on getting good speakers for music over the home theater portion. I listen to mostly rock (alternative, classic, punk) some pop, a little hip hop, country, and just about everything else. I really liked the open smooth sound of the B&W 704 compared to the more direct sound of the Klipsch reference series.

#2 of 24 OFFLINE   SethH

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Posted February 11 2007 - 11:21 AM

Well, matching speakers are pretty important. At the very least you need to match your front three speakers. You might also want to audition Paradigm, Polk and Definitive Technology -- those are a few good offerings you should be able to find locally.

#3 of 24 OFFLINE   og33

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Posted February 11 2007 - 11:54 AM

Timbre matching is important...whatever speakers you end up getting make sure you get speakers with the same drivers...most manufacturers offer 'series' of speakers with matching centers, surrounds, and subs (even though subs don't have to be matched to your specific brand of speaker) that are timbre matched. If I had your budget ($1500 for mains) and was looking for floorstanders I'd buy NHT Classic 4's...depending on how much bass you like you may not even need subs with them. You could also look at PSB or Totems, or Paradigm. Lots of excellent choices out there in your price range....good luck in listening....we can make recommendations but you have to listen and decide....

#4 of 24 OFFLINE   Arthur S

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Posted February 11 2007 - 03:06 PM

Hi Eric HTD Level 3 Towers and the other Level 3 speakers...or for for a really excellent pair of front L&R, the AV123 Strata Mini....Please keep in touch with me.

#5 of 24 OFFLINE   Shane Harg

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Posted February 12 2007 - 12:21 AM

B&Ws are excellent speakers for music (and HT) and if you liked them, I would buy them and forget about any compromises. If music is more important to you, then I would offer that a GREAT 2-channel music setup is much better than a fair multi-channel one. If you go a little over budget on speakers you like, save a little longer or take it one step at a time. That is, start with 2-channel and build up to full 5.1 or 7.1. I agree with the person who said that the front 3 speakers should be well matched. One solution would be to go with the 704s as your mains, get the HTM7 center speaker later on and then go with perhaps the more budget (but still B&W) DM600, DM601 or DM602s for the rest, depending on what you want to spend. I would also recommend either an SVS or HSU sub over B&W subs. They are likely better subs, with more impact, for a fraction of the cost. I personally have the DM600s all the way around in 7.1 and the LCR60 as the center, but they work great for HT. I am currently saving up, to get me a pair of 804s for a dedicated 2-channel audio system. Good luck!
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#6 of 24 OFFLINE   aht3

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Posted February 14 2007 - 01:25 AM

I'm going to jump in and reccommend the JBL Studio L Series L880 or 890s. I have the 880, have ordered a pair of the 890s and love them. For a center channel, I reccommend the LC2. For surrounds, the L820 and L810 for rars unless you want another pair of 820s. all of these except the 810s are four way and the 810 is a 3 way I you want to look into them, I can show you where to get decent prices. I have a 7.1 setup (2 880s, 1 LC2, 2 L820s and 2 L810s in the rear with a HSU 2.3 sub powered by a pio 84 140 wpc. I tried the HTD towers and center and liked them but like the JBLs better. My room is 12x11x10. I truly believe that are a lot of speaker for the money. Very clean, crisp and open sound. These are not the BB or CC variety. Well made. thanks for listening.
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JBL Studio L890s Up Front
JBL Studio LC2 at Center
JBL Studio L820s Surrounds
JBL Studio L820s RearsHSU VTF2-MK3 SubSony 46" XBR3 LCD

#7 of 24 OFFLINE   Joe S.

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Posted February 15 2007 - 10:02 AM

I'll second the Strata minis, I am looking to upgrade myself and they may be the best all around $2k set of tower speakers I've ever seen. They look to do everything for music and HT, even have their own integrated amp! They are really, really nice. Check em out.

#8 of 24 OFFLINE   Dan Driscoll

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Posted February 16 2007 - 04:01 AM

I can't recommend the Vandersteen Model 2Ce Signatures highly enough. For about $1700, they are the best sub-$2500 or even sub-$3000 full range speaker available, IMO.

Of course, speaker selection is highly personal and the only thing that really matters is what you like. But I think you would be doing yourself a big disservice if you didn't try to hear these speakers before you make your decision.
Dan

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#9 of 24 OFFLINE   Agent WD-40

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Posted February 21 2007 - 04:35 AM

I appreciate all of the input thus far. I have auditioned a few different speakers (Paradigm, B&W, Klipsch, Definitive Technology, etc) so far and will likely be listening to a few more. How much will I be giving up if I went with a pair of good bookshelf speakers in front with a good sub to help out. Something like the Paradigm Studio 20's and some sort of SVS sub. That compared to say a floor stander from B&W (say 600 or 700 series) or Paradigm Monitor or Studio series?

#10 of 24 OFFLINE   aht3

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Posted February 21 2007 - 04:41 AM

Agent, I am still going to recommend that you go to a Tweeter and take a minute to listen to the JBL L890s. I truly believe that they are a bargain. I have not listened to the other speakers listed in the other posts, just stating that for the money, they are a great value. I work with a reasonable Dealer if you are interested. Happy Hunting
Pioneer VSX 94THX
JBL Studio L890s Up Front
JBL Studio LC2 at Center
JBL Studio L820s Surrounds
JBL Studio L820s RearsHSU VTF2-MK3 SubSony 46" XBR3 LCD

#11 of 24 OFFLINE   Stephen Hopkins

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Posted February 21 2007 - 05:21 AM

I'd do some internet shopping to find a better price on the JBL L series... they're great speakers but Tweeter's prices are high (unless they've gone on sale recently). Tweeter is currently selling them for $700 EACH while they go new-in-box as low as $800/pr on eBay when they're available. I'll second the reccomendation for the HTD Level 3 Towers and associated bookshelfs and center as well as the Swans 6.1s, 2.1s, and C3. I'll especially reccomend the Swans if you enjoy the B&W sound and asthetic. In a comparisson I did a few years back my Swans 2.1 bookshelfs sounded better to myself and a B&W dealer than the 602s, CDM1NTs (predecessor to the 705) and were only slightly less open and accurate than the 805s.

#12 of 24 OFFLINE   Greg Gable

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Posted February 21 2007 - 09:16 AM

PSB image series Monitor Audio gold series Paradigm Studio series KEF Remember; if you are using a sub you dont need to spend a lot of money on speakers that will go low. Always match your center and mains. I am a firm believer that you dont need to spend a lot on your surrounds.
Panasonic TH-50PX60U
Yamaha RX-V659
Paradigm Studio 40 V.4 up front
Paradigm Studio CC-570
Paradigm Servo-15Sonance Symphony in-ceiling surrounds

#13 of 24 OFFLINE   Arthur S

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Posted February 21 2007 - 10:32 AM

I am in complete agreement with Stephen Hopkins...please don't let Minimalists and Purists who want to divert you to unnecessarily expensive B&W speakers...some of them like to sit around with rowing machines and $2,200 receivers and think about driving their BMWs...but do not have what it takes to actually make double blind listening tests so that they are actually in a position to speak intelligently about the real differences among receivers and speakers...they should find a store where you can switch receivers using the same pair of speakers...there are any number of stores where he could actually do this...however, they prefer to dwell on "intangibles" such as the "feel of the remote control"..just avoid taking advice from Minimalists and Purists. All in good fun of course.

#14 of 24 OFFLINE   Greg Bright

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Posted February 21 2007 - 01:22 PM

You'll find good prices on Infinity Beta series speakers that will fit your budget and your sound requirements as well. A pair of Beta 50s can be had for well under you budget and will make you smile as well. Infinity strives for a neutral, balanced sound. I think they succeed. Don't let my 10 year love affair with this brand influence you. Greg
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#15 of 24 OFFLINE   John Alvarez

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Posted February 23 2007 - 02:01 AM

What about the Swans or Axioms?

#16 of 24 OFFLINE   Stephen Hopkins

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Posted February 23 2007 - 02:15 AM

Swans and Axiom are both great choices but with noticably different sounds. The Swans are a very neutral speaker, not overly bright or warm, very uncolored. The Axioms are a much brighter speaker (one of the brightest non-horns I've heard). Your listening preferences will determine which is a better choice for you.

#17 of 24 OFFLINE   Luis Gabriel Gerena

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Posted February 23 2007 - 08:28 AM

While I really like the HTD level 3 towers, if you are considering a stereo setup fopr $2000 I havent heard anything close to the Rocket Strata Minis. Regards
Luis G.
Sales Rep
av123 / Rocket Loudspeakers
Perpetual Technologies

#18 of 24 OFFLINE   aht3

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Posted February 24 2007 - 12:18 PM

O have listened to the Level 3s and I will say IMO hands down, they do hold a candle to the JBL 890s and the LC2 center blows the Level 3 center out of the water. They are four way speakers and have a Kapton voice coil. They are also extremely clear and also IMO I believe they are one of the most understated speaker lines around. I like the Level 3s. I just like the JBLs much better. Especially at the price I got them at. I know where to get them for right at 1,000 for the pair. Thanks,
Pioneer VSX 94THX
JBL Studio L890s Up Front
JBL Studio LC2 at Center
JBL Studio L820s Surrounds
JBL Studio L820s RearsHSU VTF2-MK3 SubSony 46" XBR3 LCD

#19 of 24 OFFLINE   Steve_Corrick

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Posted March 03 2007 - 03:40 PM

Newer budget line from Revel - Revel Concerta F12 Loudspeakers $1200 pr

http://www.soundstag....ncerta_f12.htm
Pull up a chair, make yourself comfortable.
It's time for a movie !

#20 of 24 OFFLINE   Agent WD-40

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Posted March 19 2007 - 03:36 AM

Thanks all for the help. I decided on the Revel Concerta F12's. It was down to the F12's and the Paradigm Studio 60. Listening back to back these speakers sounded quite similar. The Paradigm's sounded a bit more airy and open than the F12 but I really liked the midrange on the F12 as well as the better bass response. Given the price difference the F12 won me over.




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