I'm planning a major HT upgrade that includes a new receiver and 5.1 speakers to replace an Onkyo HT-R520 HTiB, and I need your help to decide on speakers.
My setup (the parts that aren't changing) consist of a Pioneer PDP-5020HD, an HD cable box, a PS3, and Wii. My usage is 50% TV, 30% Gaming, 15% Movies, 5% Music.
For the receiver, I'm pretty much set on the Denon AVR-891, which is the mid-range of their 2010 line with 1.4a HDMI.
The hard part for me (and probably everyone else) are the speakers. I've listened to Paradigm, Polk (ugh), and Klipsch (ugh), and have done research on SVS, B&W (too expensive), Axiom (ugly), and Aperion (ugly). I have narrowed my choices down to:
Studio 60 v5
MSRP: ~ $6,000
MSRP: ~ $4,000
My original budget was around $3,000 for the speakers, so clearly SVS is a lot closer to that. However, I'm willing to swing a little more up front, and if need be, buy only the front sound stage at first and get the rest later, so long as I'm getting quality. I would have to do that with the 'digms.
Of these two, the 'digms are the only ones I've listened to, but I loved their sound and how they looked. I've been lusting over owning a set of Paradigms for well over 10 years. I'm unsure about the subwoofer, though. The SUB 12 is very pricey, and I've heard a lot of people on here say SVS is a much better value. So, I would be more inclined to get the PB13 with either system, which sort of bothers me if I went with the Paradigm, because I like having everything from the same manu/line for appearance reasons (I realize with a sub there's no need to timbre-match.)
As far as SVS is concerned, I know little to nothing about their M-Series, or how it compares to their S-series. I've heard some people compare the M to the Studios. Is that true?
I'm also not sure which sub to get. I've heard the cylinders are better bang for the buck, but they look like cat scratching posts to me (and I have stupid cats [and ferrets] that would no doubt get confused).
From a visual standpoint, I like the Studios much better. The M-Series looks like an old-time radio to me. I think it's the shape. They're by no means ugly, but they're not the most gorgeous, either.
I would also like some insight on both manufacturers' next line down. How do the Monitors compare to the Studios? Likewise, how do the S-Series compare to the M-Series? If there's not a huge difference in sound quality by stepping down, I wouldn't mind doing so to save some cash.
Anyway, that's where I stand. To sum up, here are my concerns:
- I like the Paradigms, but can't afford the 5.1 all at once
- I don't like the price/value of the Paradigm subs, but hate the thought of mixing brands
- I know nothing about SVS and would be making a leap of faith by purchasing
- I don't think the SVS are as attractive, but sound trumps looks
- I'm unsure of whether to get a cylinder or box sub