$1,000 budget for speakers help me decide

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Jason Garver, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. Jason Garver

    Jason Garver Stunt Coordinator

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    Over the course of the next month and a half I will be completely redoing my HT setup. I have already decided on a Tempest with a 350w MCM plate amp for the sub. However right now I am a little lost as far as speaker selection goes. I have narrowed it down to a few choices, but seeing as I can't listen to any of them I need your help.

    1st option
    Audax Home Theater kit from Madisound
    $620 plus the cost of the building materials and finishing

    Apparent Pros: The few things I have heard about this kit have been good. The speakers appear to be well designed.

    Apparent Cons: I have to build them myself.(Which actually might be fun, although Im a little worried about my ability to finish them in an aesthetically pleasing manner) It is only a 5.1 system unless I add another $180 + the cost of two more cabinets. This would leave me at $800 + shipping + building materials. Im don't think that $200 is enough for shipping and finishing the speakers.

    2nd option
    (2)Fluance ES-1 $399 pair (Main)
    (4)Fluance AV-5 $179 pair (Surrounds)
    (1)Fluance AV-SC $69 (Center)

    Apparent Pros: $830 + shipping for 7 very nice looking speakers that I don't have to build

    Apparent Cons: I know almost nothing about Fluance. The center channel doesn't look nearly as nice as the one from Audax. I have a hard time believing that these speakers are anywhere near as good as Audax kit speakers. The price for the Audax kits is almost as much as the Fluance speakers. If the kits didn't sound any better than a finished product available for the same price (cheaper after construction of the kits) why would anybody build them?

    3rd Option
    You guys recommend something better that I have completely overlooked.

    Here is a little more info for you. (Not that this post wasn't long enough) I will be using this setup for mainly movies and the occasional cd. Everything will be in a 12' x 20' room. I need this setup to last me for quite a while. Im about to turn 21 and looking at buying a house in about 3 years. Ideally whatever I buy will sound good enough to last me for about 5 years, at which time I will probably upgrade.

    Wow, that was a mouthful. I just wanted to provide all of the information I had rather than have it seem that I wanted somebody else to do my work for me. I only ask for help because $1,000 is a lot of money to me and I want to make a well informed selection.
     
  2. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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  3. Jason Garver

    Jason Garver Stunt Coordinator

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    The Rockets look nice but a 7.1 setup would be slighlty out of my price range. Also I don't know how I feel about 2-way bookshelf speakers all the way around. Am I just being naive? The last time I bought speakers I was 14 and no bookshelf speakers could offer the sound I am looking for.

    I must admit that I have this weird psychological obsession with buying the highest end that a company offers. I feel slighted if I go with an entry-level model. I don't neccesarily understand why I feel this way so maybe you guys can convice me to think otherwise. Are entry level Pardigms going to be better than what I have picked out?
     
  4. BobAlbano

    BobAlbano Second Unit

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    Hey Jason, I have an ELT system at my house and if you feel like making the drive down you are more than welcome to audition it. I have found that the ELT system amazes me on a daily basis with the finish and sound that these are able to reproduce.

    If you do your research you will find that there are a lot of quality 2 way speaker on the market today. ACI Sapphires, Ellis 1801's, Onix Ref 1's, Joesph Audio RM7's, are some of the ones that come to mind right away. My point is that I would sell a good 2 way design short...good luck with your decision! [​IMG]
     
  5. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    Sorry, didn't catch the 7.1 thing. I know how you feel, but it is flawed thinking. If you buy the best a cheap speaker maker has to offer, your buying from a company that probably doesn't have a great R&D department and is creating a product for people who don't really "examine" what all the spec's mean and are careful listeners, generally. Many of these companies also make all kinds of other gear and don't focus specifically on speakers.

    If you buy a cheaper speaker from a great company, chances are that they are trying to incorporate technology, R&D and materials from the higher end line to make a better product at a lower cost bracket, generally. I also know it's hard to break the "I want some big, bad towers looking at me in my HT" thoughts. You gotta get past that.

    If you looking at strictly HT, bookshelfs can be as effective as towers since you will no doubt have a sub to fill in the lower frequencies. If 2-channel music is just as important, you might want some good towers that can play the full range of frequencies of the listening source by themselves. Get yourself some demo music and go to a couple audio stores(not Best Buy) and listen. If you've never done this it can be intimidating at first. Explain to the salesperson this point and if he's good, he'll guide you without trying to overly influence what you think sounds best. I'm sure you can figure out how helpful or honest each is in dealing with them. Good luck!
     
  6. Jason Garver

    Jason Garver Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow Bob you just made it very clear how little I know about quality home theater products. I have never heard of any of the brands you recommended, then again I hadn't heard of Fluance or Audax until a week ago.


    So about the Audax and Fluance systems I picked out, are they not up to par with what else is out there? I really like the look of the Fluance ES-1, but sound quality is more important to me than appearance. The Rocket ELT does look like it is very well built. I suppose that I could just go with a 5.1 system until I can afford to purchase the additional 2 speakers.
     
  7. Jason Garver

    Jason Garver Stunt Coordinator

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    I would like to be able to listen to music as well, but I will admit that I don't have the ear of an audiophile so I don't know how big of a difference there will be between fullrange towers and bookshelves w/ a sub.
     
  8. Jason Garver

    Jason Garver Stunt Coordinator

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    On a completely unrelated note this forum has been seriously affecting my performance at work:b

    I feel so much better about the whole upgrade process since I have stumbled upon this forum. The wealth of knowledge here is amazing. I also appreciate the maturity exhibited by everyone, it is a real rarity for an internet forum especially considering the anonymity that such a place provides.

    Thanks everyone for all the help you have given me already.
     
  9. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    That's the point of auditioning, we all start at the beginning. Auditioning can be fun and that is how you learn, and as a general rule, if it sounds great for music, it'll sound great for HT. Since you are admittedly new at this, you can be easily influenced by those who try to help you, hopefully by coming here you'll get honest help and have honest equipment sellers near you as well. Just try it once, get some music, maybe a movie and go to an A/V store. I'd call first just to make sure they have offerings in your price range. While there also listen to things out of your price range to see how they measure against what you can afford. Just take that first step........


    Or you can choose others to dictate to you what is good. I have no problems recommending the Rockets and telling you they are a good value and will produce good sound and if you don't like em, I'll say you don't know how to appreciate them yet.........[​IMG] That's not what I want to do.
     
  10. BobAlbano

    BobAlbano Second Unit

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    Great advice there WayneO...[​IMG]

    Jason, there are a couple of forums that offer great advice on HT and Music and that admittedly is where I learned the majority of the knowledge that I have. I would also checkout www.avsforum.com as well as they have a similar but different thing going on there. HTF was the first forum that I stumbled on and have been coming here for a couple years now...Hey I just noticed that it is my 2 year anniversary since my first post...I'll admit that I was a lurker at first...

    As far as the Rockets go, you should be able to get a good feel for them if you check out the numerous people that are happy with the ELT system as well as the Rockets. There are some other internet direct companies as well that have some really exception offerings. I would look at Ascend, Axiom, ACI, and AV123, to name a few. In the end, the best thing to do is listen to the speakers in YOUR room, with YOUR gear, and let YOUR ears be the deciding factor in your decision! [​IMG]
     
  11. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    You can get 7 Ascend 170s( www.ascendacoustics.com ) shipped for $8 over your budget or with the 340 CC for $120 over budget. Ascend Acoustics use Audax drivers and tweeters. Check out www.ascendforum.com for a dedicated Ascend board.

    Ascend has an extender program were you can buy over time and get the package price if you decide to start with a 5 speaker set up.
     
  12. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    Jason,

    Definitely try to get to Bob's to audition the ELT. If you like them and you intend to build your own sub, go with the ELT center and 3 pairs of ELT mains and I'm sure the guys will give you a discount and get you below $1k point.
     
  13. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    If you are interested in the ELT's I'd guess Bob is closer than ACI in La Crosse. If you do order them, go thru ACI( www.audioc.com ) they give a longer warantee and presently have free shipping and $100 of store credit with an ELT package. I'd guess the free shipping and taxes w/ACI is a better deal than no taxes and paying shipping if ordered from av123.com. Not to mention $100 toward cables or whatever. I'd bet either would swap a pair of speaker for the sub.
     
  14. BobAlbano

    BobAlbano Second Unit

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    Very good idea Chris...I don't know if ACI does auditions there though but it's worth checking...[​IMG]

    Jason,Let me know if you are interested in coming down for an audition! [​IMG]
     
  15. Jason Garver

    Jason Garver Stunt Coordinator

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    Bob, I am very interested in coming down to hear the ELTs. PM me with a phone number or email address so that I can contact you to set something up. Thank you!!!
     
  16. BobAlbano

    BobAlbano Second Unit

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    Hey Jason,

    I just emailed you my info...

    talk to you soon,

    Bob
     
  17. George Caronan

    George Caronan Stunt Coordinator

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    Jason,

    I own Fluance speakers. I have the SV-10s [x2], AV-SC [x2] and the AV-BP [x4] as part of my 7.1 set-up. My Anthem AVM 20 has the option for two centers so I took advantage of it. The SV-10s can be bi-amped if you want to. The soundstaging is excellent for them. No complaints. There are great reviews on the Fluance line so far. Check around here or elsewhere. The ES-1s are nice looking but for higher decibel playback of music and movies they are not recommendable. This info was courtesy of the honest folks at Fluance themselves! I have a friend who is running his Denon AVR 3803 with an additional amp bi-amping a pair of SV-10s which he loves. Anyway, just thought I'd throw my two cents in. Good luck.
     

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