$500 - $1000 5.1 speaker system

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by ray tubach, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. ray tubach

    ray tubach Stunt Coordinator

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    Maybe I'm going about this the wrong way but I'm shopping for a 5.1 speaker system for a small HT (14.5'W x 18.5'L x 9'H). I've looked at the Athena Micra 6 and Point 5 systems and got a good recommendation in another thread (thanks for those replies), but I think maybe I need to widen my search a bit. I've also considered the Fluance SX-HTB5 speaker system (adding a sub, of course), the Hsu Ventriloquist 12, Klipsch Quintets, and maybe some JBL's.

    I know you generally get what you pay for, so I might be persuaded to go up to around $1000 in my budget just for speakers. If you think it would give a definite improvement in sound quality, are there any at this price point you would recommend.

    I've already chosen the Pioneer 1014 based on the reviews and discussion here and I'm waiting for it to be gently carried to my doorstep by my friendly brown truck guy. thanks for looking at this...

    [​IMG]
     
  2. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    There is no reason you can't get a good, solid performing 5.1 set up for that budget. If I were you I wouldn't even bother with the HTiB stuff or the Hsu Ventriloquist system. For 1k you could pick up an SVS PB10-ISD, Paradigm Atoms/Titans for the fronts, Atoms for the rear, and still probably have enough for the cc-170 center speaker. I just throw out that example since I'm kinda partial to Paradigm and I know the impact that an SVS subwoofer can have on HT and music. But the point is that I think you'd be much happier with some better speakers than what you'd typically find in the HTiB offerings.
     
  3. Raj_asaurus

    Raj_asaurus Stunt Coordinator

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    You should also check the polk Monitor or RTi series. If you can swing it definitely go for the PB10 sub, it'll tide you over from the upgrade bug much longer than anything else you'd purchase.
     
  4. RyanJE

    RyanJE Second Unit

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    Hey if your looking at the Fluance give this some thought! If I could go back and do it again I would. If your going to use it for movies go with 4 SV-6's and the AVSC or an additional SV-6. You can do this for about 300 pre-shipping. And then spend the other 700 on a phat SVS. I have a mixmosh Fluance set up and I am extremely impressed with the SV-6's. Good Luck!

    Look at the PCi 16-46 at svs.
     
  5. BrianMe

    BrianMe Stunt Coordinator

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    Buy an Onkyo HTiB speaker system, sell the sub, and buy an SVS within your budget. You won't be sorry.
     
  6. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    Although, just slightly over your $1k budget, I recommend the Onix ELT 5.1 package from AV123. I just got one of these systems for my company's conference room and it is an outstanding little system. If you don't mind mismatched finishes, they're clearing out the cherry stained birch finish due to supply issues, you could get 2 pairs of the birch mains for $129/pr, a ELT Cse center (rosewood or piano gloss black) for $299, and a SW-10se sub (rosewood or black) for $349. A grand total of $906 instead of $1200 for matching finishes. Or go with the ELT mains and center and add a SVS PB-10 sub for a bit more.

    I haven't heard the PB-10 but I do own a PB-2+, I believe the PB-10 will provide a more output and lower extension that the SW-10e but conversely I don't think it will be quite as tuneful. Just depends what you're looking for, a sub built more for music or HT.
     
  7. ray tubach

    ray tubach Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks, these are some good recommendations. After reading all your good comments, I'm pretty sure I'll be in the $800-1000 bracket for speakers.

    I'll probably take some time checking them out but I like the idea of going with a well-reviewed system like the Paradigm or Onix ELT.

    Does anyone have any experience or opinions on the Home Theater Direct systems? they look bery nice and would fit well in my category.
     
  8. MikeyWeitz

    MikeyWeitz Supporting Actor

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    Also check this out before making your decision. VERY nice for the $$$$.
    I have JBL E80's, EC35 center, E10 surrounds, N24 rear surrounds with a Dayton 10" sub and am VERY happy.

    This should work well for you too:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=357961&is=REG $1110 shipped

    or

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=357958&is=REG $980 shipped
    but currently out of stock in black

    You could also mix and match some JBL mains, center and surrounds, then go with an SVS sub.

    Just another option for ya!
     
  9. MikeyWeitz

    MikeyWeitz Supporting Actor

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    BTW, my 7.1 system ran me around $1000-1100. Dayton 10 NO where near an SVS, but I live in an Apt and the SVS would get me thrown out.

    That will really be the only upgrade I will do when I purchase a house and have a dedicated HT basement.

    I run mine thru a PIO 1014 as well and am very happy for the $$$ I paid.
     
  10. ray tubach

    ray tubach Stunt Coordinator

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    uh, am I missing something here? the deal is the EC35 Center Speaker, 2x E10 Bookshelf Speakers, 2x E100 Floorstanding Speakers and E250P Powered Subwoofer - all in Black Ash - for $1100 shipped?

    that's the MSRP of just the E100's, and one of the E10's. that's like getting the 250W sub, the EC35, and the other E10, for free. with shipping thrown in!

    is this usual or is this just a stonkin' deal?
     
  11. MikeyWeitz

    MikeyWeitz Supporting Actor

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    That is pretty much their regualr price.
    I ordered my E80's and N24's from them. Since they are in NYC and I am in northern NJ, only took 2 days to get them.

    I just don't think you can really beat that deal.

    The E250 is not an SVS, but you could always sell the 250 for a couple hundred and apply it towards an SVS if you really have to.
    I REALLY like the EC35 as a center.

    Check out a review:

    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...s-11-2004.html
     
  12. ray tubach

    ray tubach Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Mikey, I really appreciate your taking the time to bring this to my attention. I have always liked the JBL stuff and we think quite a lot alike in regard to that EC35 center. I am pretty locked into that but did you know the package price is only a $34 savings over going ala carte?

    I may consider other speakers individually, rather than going with the package, if I can get better sound in my theater. My room is only 18.5L x 14.5W and I must position the sofa along the back wall. That's gonna be about 15ft. away. Will I NEED the bigger speakers up front, or could I get away with something smaller, and using the $$ somewhere else?

    You use the E80's and the N24's as surrounds, though. Can you tell me why you chose those over the E100's and E10's - was that just a price issue, or do you feel they sound better in your listening space?

    Finally, they sell the E250/12"/250W sub for only $269 shipped. Taking it out of the package removes the $34 package discount but still, that seems like a heck of a deal. Do you think there are any other subs that could compete in the $300 + shipping range?

    Sorry for so many questions but I really do appreciate your taking the time. You are someone who is an actual owner of this gear and your opinion is immensely helpful and practical.
     
  13. MikeyWeitz

    MikeyWeitz Supporting Actor

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    My pleasure.

    I chose the E80's out of budget and size constraints. I live in an apt (2nd floor of a 2 family home). I really liked the E90's a lot, but they were more then I wanted to spend (E80's were already over budget :).

    I have the E10's mounted to my side walls. The N24's are my rear surrounds. I chose them because of price (69.50 shipped) and the fact that I have to stand mount them and have them firing up towards ceiling since my sofa is 1.5-2' from back wall. Could not do that with E10's.

    I have the Dayton 10" sub. MORE then enough for my Apt setting right now. I chose that over the E250 as I have read MANY MANY reviews saying the Dayton was the best under $300 (they ain't lyin).

    I did not realize it was only a $34 savings as I never really priced it out.

    I would say go for the E80's (or 90's if you want to splurge) for $358-pair/shipped.
    Can find the EC35 elsewhere for $150 shipped.
    E10's can be had for around $90 ( I paid slightly less getting them from Harmon @ ebay-refurbed but they are perfect).
    That puts you @ $600 for 5 of the 5.1
    Get the SVS for about $475 shipped and you have a REALLY nice setup for roughly $1050-1100. If you felt like splurging, you could go for the E90's for about $120 more, but with the SVS, I do not think you would really notice that much of a difference.

    My setup is working VERY well with my Pio 1014. Quite pleased with it's price/ perfomrance ratio :)

    If you are in Northern, NJ area, more them welciome to pop buy for a listen :)
     
  14. Christian M

    Christian M Agent

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    I recently helped a buddy of mine put a system together consisting of jbl e30's for fronts, ec35, and e10's for surrounds along with a svs pb10. To get to the point, it's pretty intense for they kind of money all that stuff cost him - peanuts. It's also in a fairly oddly shaped room that is open to the kitchen and dining area but this stuff doesn't have an issue filling the space. Bascically, you could save a few more bucks by going with e30's for your fronts BUT the jbl floorstanders are rather nice [​IMG]
     
  15. MikeyWeitz

    MikeyWeitz Supporting Actor

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    E30's are nice, but you will needs some mighty hefty stands for them to sit on. For the cost of that, might as well get the Floor standers. Man I wish I could get an SVS. I could afford it if I wanted, but no way I could really even come close to using it in my situation.

    man, can't wait to buy a house eventually.
     
  16. ray tubach

    ray tubach Stunt Coordinator

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    OK, folks, thanks for all your patience so far. you've really opened my eyes on some of this stuff and I feel much more aware of what I'm looking to accomplish now. However,I got the chance to to do some A/B testing last night at BB (yeah, yeah, I know...) and here is what I can tell so far. All they had there are the E80, E60, E20, E10, EC25, and the E150 and E250 subs and I'm primarily interested in the E30, E50, E90, and E100 speakers.

    Listening to a variety of music and HT, when listening to the speakers in stereo by themselves, I seem to prefer the E80's to the E60's, and the E20's to the E10's. However, I prefer the E10's to the the E20's when I add the E150 10"sub which I prefer to the 12" E250 with these speakers, and depending on the music, I varied between the E150 and E250 sub wiht the E80's. What does all this mean? I don't know....

    I'm a little confused that I liked a "smaller" bookshelf speaker when paired with a "smaller" sub but I liked the larger sub with the smaller floor speaker. Not that I don't believe in the validity of that, it's just that I don't know what to think about combining various speakers that I haven't yet listened to. I'm thinking that if the E80's are better than the E60's, then the E90's or 100's have got to be better yet, right?. Well, maybe not. It may have everything to do with the "proper" combination of components rather than simply choosing the largest one in each category.

    I'm pretty sure I'm going to start with the EC35 for a center and the E10's for surrounds but how do I know what will work across the front and which sub to use without listening to all of them? Does JBL have "recommended" combinations or is it just better to get the biggest thing you can afford and trust that it will sound best?

    I can telll you this, though. I'm pretty sure that I would not like either of the JBL subs.
     
  17. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Ray:

    Is BB your only option locally? I'd try to visit at least one or two audio shops just to see what they have. Just my $.02 [​IMG]
     
  18. PatrickS

    PatrickS Stunt Coordinator

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    Ray,

    I agree with Alan. If you have a dealer around that carries Phase Technology speakers. Their Velocity line has some speakers in your range especially when you could easily get a 10-20% discount on a package deal. It is very common for Phase Tech. dealers to do give a package discount (I got 25% of some Phase Tech speakers a couple of years ago, and know someone else in a different state that got 30% off). Something like the V-4's up front ($280), V-6 center ($250), and V-surrounds (that are bipole/dipole switchable for $450). That's $980 reatail, if you can get 20% discount, that put's you at $784 before tax. I'd still go for a SVS or Hsu sub though!

    Best Regards,
    Patrick
     
  19. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    So after experiencing (Apr. 2000), ... what having FOUR IDENTICAL Speakers anchoring my Front & Side Surround locations w/timbre-matched Center (the JBL NSP1's package w/four JBL N24's and JBL N-Center - now @ my vacation house) w/powered sub, ... basically hearing the near 100% 360-degree discrete seamless surround sound around me w/full-real Cinema Theater impacts (powered sub required), ... I knew that if I ever updated that HT speaker setup, I would use the same formula and get IDENTICAL Speakers for my Fronts and Side Surround w/timbre-matched Center.

    So, when the JBL S-Series were on sale, I bought FOUR JBL S26's and the timbre-matched JBL S-Center speakers. A few month's later when I upgraded to DD/DTS-6.1, ... I bought another JBL S26 set via eBay!

    I and my usual Friday NITE DVD crowd just love, the crystal clear, wide frequency response, near 100% 360-degree seamless surround sound and Theater dynamics that the JBL provides! (70 percent of the world's theaters, concert halls, and recording studios are equipped with JBL speakers.) The LFE/bass is handled by my SVS 25-31PCi of course. [​IMG]

    Based on Dolby Labs recommendations above, I'm just recreating the same near 100% seamless surround sound sonic signature that the Mixer Sound Engineer used to create my blockbuster DVD's 5.1/6.1 sound tracks.

    Just an HT enthusiasts adventure following Dolby Labs HT recommendation path.

    FYI: SIX JBL S26's, JBL S-Center & SVS 25-31PCi = $1,323.46 TOTAL


    Phil
     
  20. JoeyR

    JoeyR Second Unit

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    Listen to Mikey he helped steer me where I went

    I have E30 fronts, EC35 center, and E30 side surrounds with a SVS PB10-ISD

    All I can say is Wow, Super Wow, man this system rocks, Im not use to the sound but with a Pioneer 1014 I run about -20 or else my head starts to hurt[​IMG]

    Im hoping to get a pair of E10s for rear surrounds but Im working on that right now.

    The stands Im using are some BB black stands I paid 92 dollars a set for

    Ive been pretty lucky, I got 2 sets of E30s for 100 dollars a set,EC35 for 150, and 500 dollars for the sub.
     

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