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Speaker recommendations please. Best Buy is my only option


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#1 of 19 OFFLINE   captainkidd

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Posted December 30 2009 - 06:57 AM

Disclaimer, I know literally nothing about AV equipment!

I have just set up a new home theater and I am getting terrible sound, can't hardly understand the words during movies. I know that I have some acoustic issues to address but before doing that I would like to get some better speakers. I am currently using some little theater in a box Sony stand speakers and I don't think they are capable of doing this system justice.

My setup is a converted R.V. garage. It is a perfect rectangle 30 feet long by 20 feet wide by 16 feet high. I am using about 15' of the length for my theater area, the rest is a game room. There is no divider between the two areas so my 'theater' is an area about 20 feet deep by 15 feet wide by 16 feet tall. My screen is 124" diagonal projection and the main viewing are is about 18' from the screen. My receiver is a Denon AV-590, 5.1. I already have a 200 watt Energy 8" Subwoofer and am looking to upgrade my front sound stage, Front, Center and Left. I will do the rears later, just using the little sonys for now.

I did not intend to spend a ton of money on speakers but after going through the cost and trouble of setting up a 1080P, 124" theater, Blu Ray player and running everything through HDMI I realized that by skimping on the speakers I am selling the 'theater' experience WAY short. I tried to watch The Dark Night and couldn't even understand half of the dialog.

I went to best buy and ended up in the Magnolia area looking at speakers that were much more expensive than I anticipated. For my budget the salesman strongly recommended the Definitive Tech Pro Monitor 1000 setup, R/C/L. At $220 a speaker it is still more than I wanted to spend but could probably live with it. I have to admit, they sure sounded good to me.

Anyway, I am looking for suggestions of other speakers or affirmation on this set of Def Techs before I pull the trigger on $660 worth of 3 little speakers. My questions are, are these enough to do the job in this big of room and are there better options for me in the same price range. I could use floor stand speakers as well.

(I am mostly concerned with movie watching, music not so much)

Thanks in advance for any replies!


#2 of 19 OFFLINE   Ed Moxley

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Posted December 30 2009 - 07:14 AM

You said Best Buy is your only option? Can't buy online? If you can, see these:
http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-Quintet-Theater-System-Black/dp/B0011YZ018/ref=sr_1_54?ie=UTF8&s=aht&qid=1262203371&sr=1-54
A lot of people love Klipsch speakers. Check out the customer reviews at the bottom of that page. This is the whole set, instead of just the front three.

Some of the guys here recommend these all the time:
http://www.amazon.com/Energy-Take-Classic-Pack-Theater/dp/B0021L9BME/ref=sr_1_66?ie=UTF8&s=aht&qid=1262203371&sr=1-66

Best Buy may also sell these two sets, but I'm sure the price will be higher. Them, nor anyone else, will price match Amazon. I think BB also sells Polk Audio speakers. Check them out too.
Good luck!

Samsung HL61A750 (LED DLP)            Onkyo TX-SR805
Oppo BDP-83 Blu ray                                  Polk Audio LSi9
Polk Audio LSiC                                  Sony SS-MB100H
SVS PC12-NSD (Sub)                       ...

#3 of 19 OFFLINE   captainkidd

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Posted December 30 2009 - 07:44 AM

I can definitely buy online, I am just leery about buying something I have never heard playing. How would those Klipsch Quintets compare to the Def Techs I mentioned?


#4 of 19 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted December 30 2009 - 09:03 AM

First, what method did you use to calibrate your current system?  Does the Denon have a built in system?  Calibration DVD and SPL meter?  Calibrating the audio can make an average system sound good.  You may find that you still need to upgrade but it is the cheapest option and in my opinion worth a shot.

That is a GIGANTIC room for an 8" sub.  You either don't care about the sub state of don't listen very loud at all.  My room is less than 1/4 the size and I run dual 15's.

How handy are you with tools?  Have you considered building your own speakers from a well regarded design?

#5 of 19 OFFLINE   Ed Moxley

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Posted December 30 2009 - 09:29 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by captainkidd 

I can definitely buy online, I am just leery about buying something I have never heard playing. How would those Klipsch Quintets compare to the Def Techs I mentioned?
I've not heard the Def Techs, so I can't say. Best Buy sells Klipsch speakers. See if they have those same ones, so you can hear them. Everybody will tell you the sound of speakers is subjective. Everyone's hearing is different. Some like bright sounding speakers, and some don't. What sounds good to you may not sound good to me, and vice versa.

If you don't have a way to listen to speakers you think you'd really like, most online sellers have a decent return policy. All you'll lose is possibly the shipping cost.........one way. If there's no other way to hear them, it may be worth it. Maybe not.

 I usually recommend these: http://www.svsound.c...s-sbs_black.cfm
They are out of your budget you quoted, but they come with an excellent subwoofer too. Only way to hear them is to order them. They aren't sold in stores, anywhere. They have a good return policy, but haven't heard of any being returned. Everyone says they have outstanding customer service too. So, if you ever get to where you can spend that much, you'll do well to consider these.


Samsung HL61A750 (LED DLP)            Onkyo TX-SR805
Oppo BDP-83 Blu ray                                  Polk Audio LSi9
Polk Audio LSiC                                  Sony SS-MB100H
SVS PC12-NSD (Sub)                       ...

#6 of 19 OFFLINE   SCcobra4me

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Posted December 30 2009 - 09:56 AM

Check your local Craigslist electronics section, see if anyone has anything good on there also.  Between Craigslist, ebay, and Crutchfield I have purchased all my 5 speakers (minus sub) and have a total of $300 into them.  For the rears I have brand new Boston Acoustics Micro130x's (Crutchfied, $70 a piece) and for the fronts I have two Yamaha NS555 towers that I got off Craigslist for $100 for the pair and they are in new condition, I then bought the matched Yamaha NS333 (or NS444, can't remember which is which) center channel from ebay and picked that up for $60. 

#7 of 19 OFFLINE   CB750

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Posted December 30 2009 - 04:07 PM

I remember when I was looking at speakers last year Best Buy really pushed the Definitive Technology 1000's.  I didn't think they were any better than others in that range. 
But in reading your first post about using a converted garage I wonder if you might have some room issues. Lots of hard reflective surfaces like  High ceiling, concrete floor, dry wall all make for very live room without much sound adsorbing material.   Have you done anything to the room to tone things down.   Carpeting on the floor, droped ceiling tiles, fabric on the walls.

#8 of 19 OFFLINE   captainkidd

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Posted December 31 2009 - 01:23 AM

Well, I went to listen to the Def Tech set last night and after listening to them as well as most all of the other bookshelf speakers and talking with the sales guy I decided that bookshelf speakers just weren't going to cut it. I needed some towers to really do my big screen and big room justice. All of the tower speakers in the Magnolia room were out of my budget so I decided that I was going to shop online for a deal on a set.

As I walked out of the Magnolia room, there in the discounted items isle sat a pair of nice looking tower speakers. I asked the salesman what they were and he said, "oh, I forgot about those. I can make you a GREAT deal on them!" I asked what they were and he said they were Klipsch WF-35s that had been recently taken out of the Magnolia room. He said that they had been marked down from $750 to $475 for the PAIR! I knew he must be mistaken but asked if they had a matching center speaker. He didn't know which one it was so I looked it up on my Droid phone and found out it was a WC-24. He looked it up and low and behold they had one in stock and on sale for $349. I asked if he could do a little better on that one to make it a complete set and he gave me 25% off on it. So for just over $700 I ended up buying a pair of WF-35s and a WC-34! Not exactly what I had in mind when I walked in but they should be great for my set up. I can't wait to hook em' up this morning!
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#9 of 19 OFFLINE   captainkidd

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Posted December 31 2009 - 01:26 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by CB750 

I remember when I was looking at speakers last year Best Buy really pushed the Definitive Technology 1000's.  I didn't think they were any better than others in that range.  

But in reading your first post about using a converted garage I wonder if you might have some room issues. Lots of hard reflective surfaces like  High ceiling, concrete floor, dry wall all make for very live room without much sound adsorbing material.   Have you done anything to the room to tone things down.   Carpeting on the floor, droped ceiling tiles, fabric on the walls.
Yes, I definitely have some severe acoustical issues to address. It is very lively with a ton of echo. I am currently researching acoustic treatment options that aren't going to break the bank.


#10 of 19 OFFLINE   Parker Clack

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Posted December 31 2009 - 01:46 AM

John:

I have had Def Tech speakers for years and I love them. Having said that I would recommend what other have been saying and that is look online. There are some really nice speaker manufacturers online and you can usually get them for less than what you would pay for them at Best Buy, Sears, etc.

I have heard the Axiom Audio and SV Sound speakers and they both are great bangs for your buck. They also offer great return policies if you are unhappy with them after you have heard them in your own home.

The key here is to listen to them in your set up. Ask Best Buy if you can try the Def Tech's or any of their other speakers in your own home and then decide which one sounds best to you. Then as other have suggested make sure you are calibrating them to your room. If you Denon isn't set up to do that then we can tell how you can do that. In store demos are one thing. Your room is going to change everything.





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#11 of 19 OFFLINE   captainkidd

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Posted December 31 2009 - 05:56 AM

Well, I went to listen to the Def Tech set last night and after listening to them as well as most all of the other bookshelf speakers and talking with the sales guy I decided that bookshelf speakers just weren't going to cut it. I needed some towers to really do my big screen and big room justice. All of the tower speakers in the Magnolia room were out of my budget so I decided that I was going to shop online for a deal on a set.

As I walked out of the Magnolia room, there in the discounted items isle sat a pair of nice looking tower speakers. I asked the salesman what they were and he said, "oh, I forgot about those. I can make you a GREAT deal on them!" I asked what they were and he said they were Klipsch WF-35s that had been recently taken out of the Magnolia room. He said that they had been marked down from $750 to $475 for the PAIR! I knew he must be mistaken but asked if they had a matching center speaker. He didn't know which one it was so I looked it up on my Droid phone and found out it was a WC-24. He looked it up and low and behold they had one in stock and on sale for $349. I asked if he could do a little better on that one to make it a complete set and he gave me 25% off on it. So for just over $700 I ended up buying a pair of WF-35s and a WC-24! Not exactly what I had in mind when I walked in but they should be great for my set up. I can't wait to hook em' up this morning!

#12 of 19 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted December 31 2009 - 07:51 AM


Quote:
Well, I went to listen to the Def Tech set last night and after listening to them as well as most all of the other bookshelf speakers and talking with the sales guy I decided that bookshelf speakers just weren't going to cut it.

The problem is you can't judge bookshelf speakers by listening to them on their own, because that is not how they're going to sound in your home theater.  (You also can't really judge them by listening to them in any room that isn't the one they're actually going to play in, either.  The best you can do is audition several sets of speakers in the same unrealistic setting in order to get a feel for their relative sound.)  Did you listen to the Def Techs running with a good powered subwoofer?  Because if you didn't, you didn't really audition them.  I have an Atlantic Technology 5.1 system with a 12" subwoofer and bookshelf front speakers that outperform the Infinity Towers they replaced for music, as well as providing great surround sound for movies.  They do this the LF and RF handle the highs and midrange very well, and the sub provides the bottom.  Could the fronts match the Infinities on their own?  Of course not.  But they beat them hands down with the sub added.  Just something to consider in the future.  Let us know how the Klipsch speakers work out for you.

Regards,

Joe

#13 of 19 OFFLINE   captainkidd

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Posted December 31 2009 - 09:06 AM

We did demo the def techs with the cube sub and they sounded really good but I figured that getting the Klipsch towers and center for about $90 more than I was going to pay for the Def Tech 1000 set of 3 speakers was a no brainer. The retail on the Klipsch speakers that I bought would have been around $2,000 and I paid about $750. Do you think the $220 Def Tech 1,000 could match or even surpass the Klipsch wf-35 towers in sound quality and performance?

I never even considered that, I just assumed that the Klipsch towers would be a MASSIVE upgrade since they retailed for so much more and had alot more speakers in em. Like I said, I know very little about AV equip.


#14 of 19 OFFLINE   cujobob

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Posted January 05 2010 - 12:21 AM

 Buy WAF-1s from www.tweakcityaudio.com  ...they're bookshelf speakers, but will mate well with a sub and will sound fantastic...almost impossible to beat at their price.  They have a 30 day guarantee.  Almost everything you buy for less than a grand is not very good...too many compromises due to cost (and brick and mortar stores are by far the worst).  There are some good ones out there, though.  Good luck with whatever you decide!


#15 of 19 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted January 05 2010 - 08:29 AM

You might also want to look at www.atlantictechnology.com  I've had one of their packages for 10 years and it has outlasted about 4 receivers.  One of the things I like about the ATs is how good they are for stereo music, which is not an area that a lot of HT speaker packages excell at. 

Regards,

Joe

#16 of 19 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted January 05 2010 - 08:30 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by cujobob ">

Buy WAF-1s from www.tweakcityaudio.com 

 
Please tell me that WAF secretly stands for "Wife Acceptance Factor", because it would be great if someone actually named a bookshelf speaker line like that.  <br /></span>
<br />
Regards, <br />
<br />
Joe<br />
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#17 of 19 OFFLINE   cujobob

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Posted January 05 2010 - 08:38 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph DeMartino 



 

That's exactly what it stands for.  They're very nice monitors designed by Danny Richie (GR-Research, AV123, Usher, Epiphany, etc.).  These would be great speakers if sold for $500 at Best Buy...most everything carried there is total crap and overpriced.  People who don't know better buy it.

#18 of 19 OFFLINE   chuckg

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Posted January 06 2010 - 04:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by cujobob View Post
  Almost everything you buy for less than a grand is not very good...too many compromises

 
Oh, I have to disagree - if you mean per speaker.  If you meant "for all 5 (or 7)" then, yeah, a grand goes pretty quickly.
My JBL S-38 fronts have quite good sound, and rock for less than $600 a pair.  The remaining speakers are identical, purchased for less than half retail on a certain auction site.

sounds like the OP got what he wanted, at a reasonable price.  Now it's time to fix the acoustics in the room!  Get some rugs, some kinda stuff on the walls, and tweak the locations of the speakers.  Properly configure everything using the automatic feature in your AVR, then use a sound level meter and tweak it by hand.

If you need to, turn the level up on the center channel to improve dialogue.
 

--ignore the man behind the curtain

#19 of 19 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted January 08 2010 - 07:20 AM

You will definitely need to tame the acoustics in your room with those Klipsch speakers. Klipsch, with their horn tweeters, provide a very bright (some would say harsh) sound, and your room will only amplify this characteristic.

I usually advise people to audition Klipsch speakers very carefully before buying. They have a very distinctive sound that you either love or hate.  Personally, I found them way too harsh and fatiguing when I auditioned them, while a good friend of mine absolutely loves them.