$1500-$2000 for 5.1 speakers - Help!

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Al_P, May 20, 2003.

  1. Al_P

    Al_P Auditioning

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    I’m looking for some advice on where to start in my search for new speakers. I’ve been using a hodge-podge of speakers, and would like to get a matched 5.1 set for our new house. In the next year or three I’ll be building a dedicated home theater in the basement, so for now I’m staying at a modest budget. I’ll save the “going into debt” budget for later! Basically I’m looking for recommendations on brands, systems, and anything else.

    Here’s some of my details:
    I’m using a basic 100 Watt/Ch JVC receiver, with DD and DTS decoding. The (carpeted) living room is roughly 12 ½’ x 18 ½’, with 9’ ceilings, and one of the long walls is open (leads to dinette). The TV and front speakers will be on one of the short walls. Surrounds will be in the rear corners out of necessity; no wall-mounting dipoles as I’ve seen recommended. I’d love a system where all 5 speakers are exactly the same; in theory, that sounds ideal. I’ll definitely be using stands for the rears, and probably the fronts, also, so advice on stands would be appreciated also. Also, I love the look of wood, but black would allowable (no silver, white, etc.). Finally, I’d like to keep the budget under $1500 including tax for the speakers, leaving as much as $500 more for 4 stands and decent speaker wire.

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about Paradigm, so that’s what I’ll be trying to audition first. I’m a little overwhelmed by the selection, though.

    I might try the Aperion Intimus 5.1 system, since it looks awfully nice and has a money-back guarantee (even return shipping, I hear). Nowhere to audition them, though, so this would truly be a shot in the dark.

    Never been a huge fan of Klipsch, but I’d listen…

    So that’s where I’m starting; any help pointing me in the right direction would be appreciated. The folks here helped me find the Home Theater Master MX-500 remote, which I absolutely love. Thanks in advance…
     
  2. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    Al,

    I have the aperion 5.1 system and can say that it is great, especially for home theater. They provide a very detailed and accurate sound stage, a great sub for the size and price, and very nice looks. I don't think you can do better for the price.
     
  3. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    Aperions are a good choice.

    Also take a look/listen to Ascend Acoustics. Great reviews by industry experts and also well within your price range.
     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Since you like wood you might like to look into Rockets. Their Rosewood finish is very fine indeed. Ebony is also available, but I’ve only seen pictures, nothing in person.

    There are several packages available that would come in under $2,000. Their new sub (UFW-10) lists for $500, but is cheaper on a package deal.
    This link will take you to their site. You can find their packages here.

    I just noticed a post in this thread that has a picture of their new sub.
     
  5. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    Keep Ascend Acoustics(ascendacoustics.com)170s on your list. Their site has all the great reviews they receive.
     
  6. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    I chose Aperion but Ascend was my second choice. The Aperion's definitly look better but they both sound good. If you go with a complete package from Ascend be sure they are still bundling it with a good sub like HSU or get a sub seperatly.
     
  7. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    I chose Aperion but Ascend was my second choice. The Aperion's definitly look better but they both sound good. If you go with a complete package from Ascend be sure they are still bundling it with a good sub like HSU or get a sub seperatly.
     
  8. Al_P

    Al_P Auditioning

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    CurtisSC, your link to Ascend Acoustics has an extra "s" in it. Easy enough to figure out the site address, but you might want to edit that.

    Ascend is now definitely on my list. Cool looking stands, too!

    The Rockets look interesting; the rosewood finish looks nice, but might not be quite to my (or my wife's) taste.

    I definitely plan on auditioning both the Aperion's and Ascend's, probably at the same time! It sure seems like you can get more bang for your buck from online retailers...

    Thanks for the advice! (And keep it coming!)
     
  9. DerrickN

    DerrickN Stunt Coordinator

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    Just want to concur with people that had voted for the Ascend Acoustic. I recently acquired a pair of CMB-170 and I have nothing but high praise for them. No need to ask me what do they sound like, just go over audioreview.com and everthing that people rave about this speaker is true.
     
  10. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    another happy and very satisfied Ascend owner here.
    would buy them again in a heartbeat.
    they have a new center channel they just came out with, which is the more conventional MTM design.
    i'm on the fence whether or not to try it out.
    the 170 works remarkably well and i do like having the exact same speaker all across the front soundstage.

    haven't heard the aperions, but i have seen many good posts for them too.

    BTW- i auditioned the Rockets prior to the Ascends and was suprised how much i ending up liking the ascends better-
    better imaging(especially with the center), larger soundstage,etc.
    the rockets are beautiful though.
    ymmv.
     
  11. Steve Stogel

    Steve Stogel Supporting Actor

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  12. Mark Dickerson

    Mark Dickerson Stunt Coordinator

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    Al:

    Don't believe that the Aperion's are a "shot in the dark" just because they are only mail order--if you don't like them in 30 days, just ship'em back. You get to audition them in your home, which is the best place possible.

    In your price range, also check out the JM Labs Sib & Cub system (MSRP $1195). They sound great, come with built in articulating wall brackets, and are small enough to fit almost anywhere, but big enough (5" mid/bass) to give quality sound in your room. I not only heard them in 5.1, they give very ggod sound just as a stereo pair. Look for a local dealer or check them out at www.audioadvisor.com under Loudspeakers.

    I would also recommend the Kef Q series. A pair of Q1s as the mains with a Q9 center sounds great. Then get a pair of the 2005 "eggs" for your surrounds, and the Kef 8" sub and you are set and within your budget. The sound is very, very good, and with a little effort, they can be found at 20% off the MSRP. You might even like the KEF 2005 system (5 eggs plus sub) which are now widely available under your $1500 budget.

    Good luck
     
  13. CraigRogers

    CraigRogers Extra

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    I'm surprised there is not mention of Axiom Audio from anyone. (www.axiomaudio.com)

    I listened to a TON of speakers before making my purchase, and ended up with their M22ti as mains, and VP150 center. I'll soon be ordering their QS8 surrounds. For a sub, I went with the Hsu VTF-2.

    In a room your size, I think the M22ti's and Hsu VTF-2 would work nicely.

    The M22ti's are SUPER clean, in the mid and high ranges. They lack a super low end, but being a bookshelf speaker, that's to be expected. Paired with a good musical sub, they make a wonderful pair of speakers. And at $400 a bargin that's hard, if not impossible to beat. (IMHO)

    I also agree that listening in your own home, is the only true way of knowing what's best for you. The room they are played in makes every speaker sound GREATLY different. A speaker which sounds great in the store, could sound like crap at home, and vice versa. Listen to as much as you can at home. One good thing is that you are looking for smaller/bookshelf speakers, which won't cost nearly as much to send back if you are not satisfied.

    It's also REALLY important to pair smaller speakers with a nice tight/musical sub. I went with Hsu, but I've also heard the Rel, makes a terrific musical sub. You probably aren't going to want a boomy subwoofer designed for HT use paired with smaller speakers. Your sub is going to have to be able to handle the lower end of all your music listening as well as movies. Lots of low end "boom" sounds cool when you're watching a movie, but it sounds lousy when listening to music. [​IMG]

    Have fun listening!
     
  14. AhsanR

    AhsanR Stunt Coordinator

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    HMMMMmmmmm,

    Add the Wharfedale's to your list, THEY TRULY are the BANGEST For your BUCK around.
     
  15. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    Al P- There is a group over on avsforum.com that is having a big listening party this weekend with; Aperion, Ascend, Axiom, Onix Rocket 150s and REF1s, a few others too, and the center channels for each. So by Monday, there should be plenty of posts over there regarding those speakers from the people who attend that listening session.
     
  16. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    We will not have center channels from Aperion(it is just a 522D on its side) or Axiom.
     
  17. Al_P

    Al_P Auditioning

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    I will definitely check out the avsforum, they should end up with a wealth of useful information. Thanks for the heads up!

    I've had a few emails with Ascend and Aperion so far with inquiries, etc. So far, I'm impressed with their responses, and appreciate their advice and help.

    John at Aperion was willing to hold their current sale price (through Memorial day) for me, but not ship the products until we move into our new home June 19th. That's great, since it's a $150 savings. Then again, I might go for their "system special", which includes an Onkyo DR-C500 receiver/5 disc DVD changer, along with speaker wire and a subwoofer cable. All for $1899; sounds like a great deal (less then the Ascend system).

    My only minor complaint is that Ascend doesn't pay return shipping, which might be around $100 (I'll get a more accurate quote soon). No problem if I keep the Ascends, but it adds to the cost if I go with the Aperions (or something else).

    Thanks again for all the help; I can't wait to move and begin the auditions!
     
  18. BrianAe

    BrianAe Second Unit

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    Al,

    Aperion will give you the same discount when bundled with any of the other Onkyo receivers they have. I'd pass over the DR-C500 and go with the sr600 or 601 (if they have it). It will cost you less but you'll still need to get a dvd. However, it is a much better receiver.

    cheers.
     

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