$1800 to spend on Main Speakers??????

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Chase_ Morgan, Apr 15, 2004.

  1. Chase_ Morgan

    Chase_ Morgan Auditioning

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    80% home theater / 20% music..... I live in an apartment, but don't care if room is to small right now because I will move in a year to a house. So, I've heard floor standing speakers are the way to go but what if Im going to have at least a $1000 sub. Should I at least listen to book shelves? I have a deal worked out for the Klipsch RF-7's at $1600/pair or B&W 704 for $1900/pair(floor model). I would rather stay around the $1600 range. I will go and listen to some Paradigms as well. With all of the great reviews for Rockets and Axiom, I'm considering these but don't know where I could listen to these. Though I am a little skeptical of these particular companies because they're only online and the way they market is threw these forums.

    Anyway I have an Onkyo TX - SR800 as a receiver and would rather not purchase any additional amps because of cost. Will this be enough to power the Klipsh or BMW? Everyone always say go listen and decide for yourself, but I think that there are to many variables that come into play especially when you are listening at these high end shops. The speakers will not sound the same at my house because I don't have all of the high tech amplifiers or receivers hooked up. How do you get around this?

    B&W get awesome reviews, but will I get the same from Klipsch with my Onkyo pushing them? I like speakers that I can feel meaning (Basssss)..... but want the best possible value as well. So many decisions???????
     
  2. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    Definitely listen to as many speakers as you can. If you want to give Rockets a listen, this thread may be of some use to you. An audition is being arranged for your area in the very near future.
     
  3. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Go listen to the B&W Nautilus 805's. They are bookshelf speakers, but if it's for mostly home theater that bookshelf speakers are just as good (assuming a good sub as you mentioned). This would take you up into B&W's top-of-the-line series. They pop up on Ebay faily often for around $1600-1800 and are often in great condition (most people who buy B&W Nautilus are the type who will take good care of their stuff!). Anyway, I'm sure the 704's are great too, but I always try to hit top-of-the-line if financially possible.

    PS The 704's would probably be better if music was a higher priority, but since it is not, I would go with the 805's if you have the chance to.
     
  4. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    You could look into the Boston Acoustics VR-M series. I have an Integra DTR 6.4 (gussied up Onkyo 701), and VR-M60s, M50s and VRC centre. The 60s sound great in two channel, even w/o sub (they are bookshelf speakers). The VR-M90s are in your price range (floorstanders) and should match your receiver quite well.

    (OOPS, it seems the retail for the VR-M90s is 2700/pr, sorry, had it confused with the VR-M80s (retail 2000/pr but I'm sure could be had for 1650-1800 with a bit of haggling))

    They are quite sensitive (90 dB or so) so your receiver will do fine w/o power amps, unless you're in a very large room. As for Klipsch, though they are not my cup of tea, they are even more sensitive than the Bostons and will be easily driven by your Onkyo if you go that route.

    Don't worry about hearing speakers in high-end shops with equipment you don't own. While it won't let you make a final judgement between two contenders, you can certainly eliminate pretenders. Besides, high end stores are often, though not always, reasonable about allowing you to take home a pair of speakers (or two) to your house (it's worth doing even if it requires leaving a deposit). My dealer let me take home three different pairs, plus an amp (was waiting for my new receiver on back-order and had sold my old one already).
     
  5. Jason Brent

    Jason Brent Second Unit

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    Also if you like B&W, I have always REALLY liked the CDM series.

    Before I got my Studio 60's, I was really thinkin of the the little bookshelve's in the CDM line. My dealer made me a better deal on the 60's, so that's what I got.

    Edit....just went to Bower's and Wilkin's site. It looks like the 700 series you all are talking about must have replaced the CDM series.
     
  6. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I have listened to pretty much all of the Rocket line—but not nearly all of the Axiom line. They have (to my ears) very different sounds, but both will appeal to many listeners. In addition to the different sonic style of each line, I find that there is a very big difference between the center speakers (which you might want to consider later for home theater).

    While I have had no commercial dealings with Axiom, they have a fine reputation for customer service.

    I can speak directly for AV123 and the Rockets. Their customer service is outstanding in every respect. Mark and his staff do everything possible to create happy (and loyal) customers. I have met Mark, Sean and Steve and they are all friendly and very knowledgeable and will give you sound recommendations (to the point of suggesting competitor’s products). I have only dealt with Greg via email, and he too, has been most helpful.

    In your price range, you might also consider ACS as a company to investigate.

    I would defiantly ask Greg, Sean or Steve at AV123 their opinions of power for that particular receiver if you consider the Rocket 750s. I don’t own these, but they do seem to like a lot of power. OTOH, my 550s work very well with a 90 watt/channel Pioneer receiver (that I expect really puts out about 35-50 watts).

    You should not need a $1,000 sub in an apartment. There are plenty of very fine subs in the $600 range that will work very well. Check out the Home Theater Spot for a very through review of several $600 subs.
     
  7. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

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    I think Lew meant ACI, not ACS.

    Great stuff.
     
  8. Dave Man

    Dave Man Stunt Coordinator

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    I can't testify to any of the other speakers listed in the thread, but I do own Klipsch RF-7s and love them. While I am currently powering them with a lower end Yamaha 5560 receiver (not the ideal match, IMO), the speakers sound exceptional. I would recommend that you look/listen around to several different models from different companies before you purchase anything. Try to find a shop that carries several different brands where you can do an A-B comparison. What matters most is what you think, not us.
     
  9. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Correct as usual Curtis. I wrote in haste--I'm not sure it I'm going to repent at leisure, however.
     
  10. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Klispch's are EASY to drive but they sound vastly different than the others.

    The rest will be about average to drive. As long as you have a good subwoofer and don't crank it, then I would think the Onkyo would be fine for any of the choices.

    Me personally, I went with the Phase Tech Velocity line. A 7.1 setup(after discount) ran me $1800 with tax. The 10 yr warranty and built in the USA is nice too.

    IIRC, you are in Houston. I believe Audio concepts has those in stock to listen to but I could be wrong.

    I would also consider Snell and Boston Acoustics.
     
  11. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    If possible, make sure you audition the Klipsch with your receiver. I have some Klipsch reference speakers and they are very sensitive to what you match them with. I personally didn't like the sound of my Onkyo 696 with the Klipsch. Others might, but you need to audition before cementing a purchase.

    Currently, I also have ACI's, which are only 86-87 decibels sensitive. However, they seem easy enough to drive. I love the sound of the ACI's and they work well with both music and home theater. Extremely nice company and very responsive. On a recommendation, a friend bought the ELT package (which are made by the same company as the Rockets). He had a sub go out and called them. A new sub went out that day, no questions asked. No hesitation on their part, nor did they insist on receiving the return prior to shipping out the new sub. In my book, that's excellent customer service.

    If it was a question between the Klipsch or ACI, I, without hesitation, prefer the sound of ACI. This isn't a put down of Klipsch as I really do like their sound, but, to me, ACI is superior, especially on music.

    You might also check out the offerings of GR-Research and Axcend, as well as those companies previously mentioned.
     
  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Dana, you mean Ascend? [​IMG]

    I'm a owner of GR Research A/V-2s, and I love them. E-mail them to find out about having a pair of the speakers you might be interested in might be available to be sent out to you for a demo in your own home. I did this, and ended up buying a pair.

    I'll throw in Vienna Acoustics as well.
     
  13. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Yes, John. :b
     
  14. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    I wish I could have a system where I could run B&W half the time and then the Klipsch the other half of the time. Maybe some day?? They are both great to my ears having owned both.

    I had the RF-5 towers teamed up with the RC-7 center but decided to check out the RB-75 books. (me 95% HT) I liked the look better myself and since I have plenty of sub,(3> 25-31CS+'s) I felt like they were the choice for me and understandably maybe not your first choice. My room is 24 X 12 X 10 with four openings along the front 24' wall and a good pair of stout books on stands look and sound great to me with plenty of headroom. If you do decide to go with the Klipsch reference series though, can I suggest you check out the RC-7 center though? With you being 80% HT this speaker is quite a performer.

    Many good speakers mentioned in the past posts so allot to chew on. Listen to as many as you can like previously mentioned. You will be the most confident in your decision when you do so. It sure can be a pain in the rump though.

    I remember boxing up the Bigfoot Rocket center and sending it back. As good as the speaker was (beautiful speaker) and the company to deal with it was not the speaker for me. If I never would have taken the time and $ to check it out, I would have always wondered.

    Happy hunting [​IMG]
     
  15. Chase_ Morgan

    Chase_ Morgan Auditioning

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    First, I want to say thank you to everyone for contributing to all of my questions. I want to clarify that I like to listen to speakers that I can feel and that I mainly watch movies but I do listen to rock, hip hop, techno, and rap occasionally. With this budget and receiver which would you choose: Klipsch, B&W, or Paradigm? With all of the choices available, I have begun to get overwhelmed.... Anyway, the sound of the speaker is obviously important but I also consider the look of the speaker just as important for my tastes. Also, they used to offer towers with the powered subs and now it seems they only have passive ones. I prefer powered, but would that be to much if I go with another subwoofer as well? What lines have the powered sub woofers inside their towers? Should I even be considering this type of tower? thanks again!!
     
  16. Tim Reed

    Tim Reed Extra

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    Well - - first I own the Onkyo TX SR800. Its an excellent HT receiver. Allows you to run the front two channels in stereo with a sub crossed over anywhere from 40,60,or 80 (or you can run with all channels in many different modes). That means that you can get real nice front speaks and then just fill in the bottom end from about 60 or 40 hzon down. The 800 has pre-outs on all channels - so you can always add amplification later if its needed.

    Also - I own Klipsch LaScalas (great party speakers - when those things are cranked -they are impressive but they smear detail -and lack bass - and are huge etc etc), have listened to the Klipsch RF series (great dynamics but pretty sharp in the treble - I think that teble would wear me out before too long), and also own Paradigm studio 100 version 2's (pretty good full range speaker - but it can't match the speed and detail of DIY speakers that cost less - the 100's are a little confused in the upper bass/lower midrange region - and by the way - I'm driving them with an Odyssey Stratos - which helps out a lot). In fact now I listen most of the time to EFE (Ed Frias) T-22's with a Adire Rava sub (crossed in at 60) - and this combination is superior to the Paradigms and everything else I own. (For some reason I still really like those Paradigms though and will not part with them).

    I would recommend that you consider (if you are willing to do this) a speaker kit from either BESL, Northcreek, Madisound, or Selah Audio. In the price range you are talking about, the speaker kits from these companies will out perform any Klipsch or Paradigm speaker (and I do mean that - all of their offerings) - and probably match the performance of any B&W speaker within 3X the price range (i.e., you have to spend more than 3000 on a pair of comparable B&Ws).

    Of course - reviews are hard to come by for DIY speaks - and you can't just walk into a store and listen to these - so this is a risk.

    If it were me though - I'd probably go with Rick Craig's RCR3 (Selah Audio) or the BESL 2.4 (and get BESL to make a cabinet), or the North Creek Rhythm with a Lee Taylor cabinet (I think that's right). In fact, I bet you could get the Madisound ETON 11.2 kit (3-way ETON kit) and find a cabinet builder to make the speaker cabinets for your price range. You have a tough choice.

    If not a DIY, then I'd next go with an internet company (that puts it all together for you) with good reputation since you are still getting a lot more speaker for you dollar than a company like Klipsch.

    Anyway - just my 2 cents. Good luck.
     
  17. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    IMHO you should stay away from these. The best placement for your speakers is often not the best place for your subs and the subwoofers that are built into the speakers are very poor at reproducing bass. Buy Capable mains for yourself and then buy a capable seperate subwoofer.
     
  18. TimMc

    TimMc Stunt Coordinator

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    If you've already decided to go with a kicka$$ subwoofer then bookshelves are a definite consideration. And if you've already decided to go listen to Paradigms, then take the time to audition the Signature S2's. Yes, they are just a small bump out of your budget, but you should be able to get them for very close to your top number. And yes, they just may make it a whole lot harder to decide on any of those other speakers.

    Whatever you do - at this price range, try to make sure you give your choice(s) a good long listen. They're going to be playing to your ears, not ours, and only you can make that final call - we can only offer our opinions and prejudices. Even the online offerings like Axiom, etc. give you long enough to listen before you have to keep or return them (although ya gotta watch the return shipping price 'cause it's your dime). Good luck!
     

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