5.1 speaker setup - $1,200 budget

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Hudson, Oct 31, 2002.

  1. David Hudson

    David Hudson Auditioning

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    The speakers will be powered by a Denon 2802. I'm trying to decide between an Axiom and a JBL setup. Looking for opinions to see if one is inherently superior to the other. For what it's worth, the store that I purchased the receiver from seemed to favor the Axiom speakers. Here are my proposed systems, prices are taken from etronic.com for the JBL speakers (including shipping) and axiomaudio.com for the Axiom's (also including shipping).

    Front L/R JBL S38 II - 290
    Center JBL S-Center II - 166
    Rear L/R JBL S38 II - 290
    Subwoofer JBL S120PII - 424
    Total 1170

    Front L/R Axiom M3ti - 275
    Center Axiom VP100 - 220
    Rear L/R Axiom M3ti - 275
    Subwoofer Axiom EP125 - 380
    Total 1150

    Also, if there are better subwoofers for around $400 I'd like to know. I believe the SVS and Hsu subwoofers would be out of my price range.
     
  2. Jason Hammerly

    Jason Hammerly Supporting Actor

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    There is a pretty good deal over at Ascend Acoustics for 5 CBM-170's and the HSU VTF2 for $1158 plus shipping. That should sneak you in under $1200 shipped, and from what I've heard, will get you s super sounding system and a great subwoofer. I'd give that a serious thought. http://www.ascendacoustics.com/AscendWeb/FrameSet.htm
     
  3. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    If you go with the JBL setup, the S38s as surrounds may be overkill. You may want to look at S36 or even S26s as surrounds, possible freeing up enough $$ in your budget to go 6.1 or 7.1.
    You may want to look at the $1000 Swan Diva package at www.av123.com . From what i've read, they are amazing speakers, and will compete w/ speakers that cost 3 or 4 times as much.
    Also, there's a used SVS 20-39 on ebay that's at $400 with no bids. May want to look at that.
     
  4. David Hudson

    David Hudson Auditioning

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    Thanks for the input. In looking at www.av123.com I have been unable to find the $1000 Swan Diva package. Could someone please fill me in on the system, or direct me to the page that has information on it?
     
  5. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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  6. Ben_wood

    Ben_wood Stunt Coordinator

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    David, I second Jason's recommendation of Ascend Acoustics. I have a 5.1 system consisting of 4 CBM-170s on the corners, an HTM-200 center, and a Hsu VTF-2 sub and am extremely pleased with this setup for both movies and music. I don't think that you could do much better for the money.
     
  7. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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  8. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

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    I got a good deal on the JBL speakers as a BestBuy employee:
    2 S312IIs as the fronts
    1 S-Center II as the center
    2 S-36's as the rears
    and one PB12 as the sub
    All for about 1,100. I'm quite happy [​IMG]
     
  9. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    David,
    i'd third the rec for an Ascend package.
    about the only problem with them is that your first exposure to them will probably be the webpage where they don't really look all that inspiring.
    at least they didn't to me.
    i only ordered 3 cbm 170s at first, to try them out and save on return shipping weight when i sent them back.
    of course i didn't have to.

    don't have an opinion on the others suggested. when i was looking to upgrade, i focused on speakers in the $1-2K range.
    the Ascends really surprised me, as they shared sound qualities that i found mesmerizing in considerably more expensive speakers.
     
  10. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    Definitely agree w/ the Ascend recommendation. That's exactly what I got for my friend, and it rocks!! Actually w/ his system I got the smaller ones in the rear.
     
  11. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    Another group of speakers you may want to take a look at is
    Acoustic research
    AR Hi Res 4c center 129.99
    AR Hi Res AR17 for rears 164.99
    AR Hi Res AR11 for fronts 349.99
    or use the AR17 as rears and buy the AR15's for fronts.
    Then add any sub you want.
    You can get these from www.etronics.com http://www.accessories4less.com
     
  12. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    I have the AR4c for my center, AR17 for rears and AR11's for fronts. I don't have any complaints. The only thing I question is the ARs112PS subwoofer.
     
  13. David Hudson

    David Hudson Auditioning

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    Thank you everyone for your suggestions.

    I had initially ruled Ascend Acoustics out, I felt that their prices were too prohibitive. The praise that I have heard here has won me over. I placed an order for 3 CBM-170's just a few moments ago. I'm sure that I will be pleased with them, and plan on getting the rest of them a month or so down the road (thanks to their "Extender" program). It's easier on the wallet this way, and of course, it give me a chance to demo them with less risk.

    I'll also keep an eye on the SVS 20-39. But, if it is the PCi, aren't they normally sold at $600?

    Again, a big "thank you" to everyone who responded!
     
  14. Ben_wood

    Ben_wood Stunt Coordinator

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    Welcome to the club David, I'm sure you'll enjoy your Ascends. I also used the "extender" plan to purchase my system, it's nice to be able to spread out the cost over a few months! Let us know what you think of your 170s!
     
  15. Jo_M

    Jo_M Stunt Coordinator

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    David, let us know how you like the speakers. I considered them before I purchased my JBL setup. I would have been happy to have you listen to my JBL's if you were still undecided.
     
  16. David Hudson

    David Hudson Auditioning

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    Still waiting on the speakers, but I have another question, as I am a total newbie when it comes to home theater.

    What kind of connectors do I want on the end of my speaker wires? Spades or bannana plugs? Does it depend on the receiver(Denon 2802)/speakers(Ascend Acoustics CBM-170) that I have?
     
  17. BradJudy

    BradJudy Stunt Coordinator

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    David,

    I just received my Ascend package (3x CBM-170, 2x HTM-200, VTF-2) and will be posting my thoughts soon. So far I am quite happy with them.

    As for your connector question, I had initially planned on spades, but the RS 12 gauge speaker wire spade I bought were too small for the binding posts. I am instead using banana plugs at the moment. My receiver (H/K AV-520) doesn't accept spades and I am using banana plugs on that end as well.

    Personally I like that with spades the wires hang more naturally from the back of the speaker. Banana plugs seem like a more natural fit on my receiver.

    In the end I think it's largely personal preference, but make sure your spades will fit if you get them.
     
  18. Ben_wood

    Ben_wood Stunt Coordinator

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    David, I agree with Brad. The main advantage with banana plugs is they are easy to disconnect from the receiver if you need to move things around. In the end plugs, spade connections, or even bare wire connections(which is what I use) all work, its just a personal decision.
     
  19. JohnBrianW.

    JohnBrianW. Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm not sure how much Totem Dreamcatchers are in the states. But in Canada at the $2000 price point nothing touches them for imaging, clarity, quality of construction and materials used.
     
  20. FrankieB

    FrankieB Auditioning

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    Originally posted by Brian
    I got a good deal on the JBL speakers as a BestBuy employee:

    2 S312IIs as the fronts
    1 S-Center II as the center
    2 S-36's as the rears
    and one PB12 as the sub

    All for about 1,100. I'm quite happy


    How big is your room, my living room is only 10x15. Do you guys think it would be over kill for me, since my living room is so small
     

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